The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday (Dec. 21) approved rules dealing with the issue of net neutrality. The following statement should be attributed to Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications:
"Verizon has long been committed to the goal of an open and vibrant Internet. We have invested tens of billions of dollars building innovative and dynamic wireline and wireless broadband networks that provide abundant capacity to our customers. We are also the only major Internet service provider that has publicly embraced openness obligations for both its wireline and wireless broadband Internet access services. We do this because we believe this is good for our customers and good for our business.
"Although we share with the FCC the overarching goals of an open Internet, we are deeply concerned by today's 3-2 decision. The FCC's majority breaks with years of bipartisan communications policies that recognized that Internet innovation and investment - and the jobs they create - thrive without government intervention. There is no doubt that the policies put in place by the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration to jumpstart innovation and the spread of broadband worked. As a result, America's broadband and Internet marketplace is intensely competitive and an engine of economic growth, job creation and multibillion-dollar investment. Today's decision, however, unnecessarily departs from these successful policies.
"While it will take some time for us to analyze the FCC's rules and the order once they are released, the FCC's decision apparently reaches far beyond the net neutrality rules it announced today. Based on today's announcement, the FCC appears to assert broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband wireline and wireless networks and the Internet itself. This assertion of authority without solid statutory underpinnings will yield continued uncertainty for industry, innovators, and investors. In the long run, that is harmful to consumers and the nation.
"Verizon remains committed to preserving an open Internet and meeting the needs of our customers. We will continue to work constructively with the FCC and the Congress on these issues."