NTCA Files Comments Regarding Proposed Net Neutrality Rules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Hillary Crowder, 703-351-2086, hcrowder@ntca.org

Arlington, Va., (July 18, 2014)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association submitted comments to the FCC today on the commission’s notice of proposed rulemaking regarding proposed open Internet rules.  

In its comments, the association urges the commission to broaden its focus beyond retail broadband Internet access services or “last mile” transport and facilities to ensure that any rules ultimately adopted leave no gaps within the service and network ecosystem.  NTCA argues that such a wider scope will be essential to protect consumers, promote competition and innovation, and ensure universal access to broadband. 

The association’s comments specifically highlight the need for clear, carefully tailored, and time-tested “rules of the road” with respect to the interconnection of underlying networks over which data travel. NTCA further recommends that the commission utilize its Section 706 authority to apply a reciprocal “no blocking” rule that will preclude both retail broadband Internet access service providers and “edge” providers from denying basic consumer access to content, applications, and services that are otherwise available on the Internet. 

However, the association urges that the commission not adopt a proposed “commercially reasonable practices” standard for conduct, and instead first monitor the extent to which a reciprocal “no blocking” rule and other changes suggested in the comments fulfill the desired public policy objectives. Finally, the comments recommend that the commission retain its existing transparency rule given the current record in the proceeding, rather than applying additional obligations at this time. 

The full text of the comments is available online. 

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.