CommunityThe Bullpen

Telecoms Love Pretend Net Neutrality Proposal; Democratic FCC Commissioner Copps Doesn’t

Here’s what the top telecom companies are saying about Julius Genachowski’s pretend net neutrality proposal.

Time Warner Cable: “We would like to commend Chairman Genachowski, and everyone at the Commission, who have worked tirelessly to craft what we believe to be a fair resolution to these complex and controversial policy issues. We also want to thank the many Members of Congress who, on a bipartisan basis, urged the Commission to take a less regulatory path in order to ensure that the Internet continues its vibrant growth and development.”

Comcast: “We believe Chairman Genachowski’s proposal, as described this morning, strikes a workable balance between the needs of the marketplace and the certainty that carefully-crafted and limited rules can provide to ensure that Internet freedom and openness are preserved.”

AT&T: “Based on our understandings, this measure would avoid onerous Title II regulation; would be narrowly drawn along the lines of a compromise we have endorsed previously; would reject limits on our ability to properly manage our network and efficiently utilize our wireless spectrum; would recognize the capabilities and limitations of different broadband technologies; would ensure specialized services are protected against intrusive regulation; and would provide for a case-by-case resolution of complaints that also encourages non-governmental dispute settlement.”

Verizon: “Verizon appreciates the efforts of Chairman Genachowski to seek a consensus on the contentious issue of net neutrality… [W]e urge the commissioners to recognize the limitations of the current statute and the rapidly changing conditions in the marketplace and make any rules it adopts interim, rather than permanent. Specifically, the commission should consider the framework of the Waxman proposal, including its sunset provision.”

In addition, Speed Matters, which is part of the Communication Workers of America and has habitually sided with anything that expands phone company profits, supports the proposal.

So there you have it. Watch your wallet.

On the other side, you have people who have advocated for an open Internet fro day one:

“It’s no secret that I am looking for the strongest protections we can get to preserve an open Internet, built on the most secure legal foundation, so we don’t find ourselves in court every other month,” Mr. Copps said. Noting that this is only the beginning of discussion about the proposal, which is likely to change before it becomes final, Mr. Copps added: “At issue is who will control access to the online experiences of consumers — consumers themselves or Big Phone and Big Cable gatekeepers.”

This at least offers some hope that Copps will move the proposal in a better direction. The Republican commissioners on the panel are opposed to doing much of anything, so Copps actually has some power here.

Not only is this proposal horrible because it allows telecoms to ration traffic and basically destroys the principle of net neutrality, but as Copps says, it’s not clear that it’s going to stick. Because of the court rulings, a failure to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service will always run into legal problems. FCC officials claim they have sufficient authority, but it’s very questionable.

Let’s see if Copps can stress this point.

More from Marvin Ammori, who is on fire over this, and who even posted Genachowski’s phone number (202-418-1000) in case you want to let him know about this.

Previous post

The Game Is Rigged: On Bush Tax Cuts, Obama Push Back Not What It Seems

Next post

DREAM Act Changes as Vote Looms

David Dayen

David Dayen