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FCC Chairman's welcome reiteration of opposition to net neutrality regulations

I wanted to commend and spotlight a critically important and completely under-reported/under-appreciated part of the FCC Chairman's statement on the 700 MHz auction released yesterday:

  • "We must continue to encourage the critical investment needed to build the next generation wireless network.  Since I have been Chairman, I have advocated strongly that applying network neutrality obligations, unbundling, or mandatory wholesale requirements to networks can undermine investment incentives.  I do not support such regulations.  The Order we adopt today does not apply these regulations to this block or any other block." [bold added for emphasis]

This is very important, welcome, commendable, and strong affirmation of the FCC's broad deregulation policy -- that was completely lost in the gaggle of press coverage.

  • The most radical and damaging Internet regulations proposed by the Google camp were firmly rejected by the FCC.
  • I couldn't agree more with this steadfast stance that wholesale resale and unbundling requirements demanded by the Google camp would discourage investment in broadband networks.
    • The Google-camp's demand for hyper-regulatory wholesale-retail separations, and micro-unbundling would ensure that network providers would not be able the earn a return on their broadband investments.
      • Also completely lost in the dabate and commentary over the auction was that the Google-camp's new Internet-regulation demands for wholesale resale and unbundling go far beyond the net neutrality regulation the Google camp demanded and did not get from Congress in legislation last year.
      • The Google camp is now pushing an ever-escalating regulatory vision for the Internet-- effectively "net neutrality on steroids"; the FCC was wise to see through this and roundly reject it.  

Bottomline: In all the hullabaloo, debate, spin, and criticism of the FCC 700 MHz rules, it is most important for all of us understand that the FCC still does not support "applying net neutrality obligations, unbundling, and wholesale requirements to networks."

  • That is good news.