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TIA Urges FCC to Use Extreme Caution in Considering 'Open Internet' Regulation

Posted By Michael Snyder , 21 January 2010 | 0 Comments | (0)
Tags: Internet net neutrality internet neutrality Information and Communications Technology Broadband innovation FCC TIA Teleconmmunications Industry Association telecommunications

Leading broadband association voices concerns that broad rules will hinder investment and innovation, undermining growth and evolution of the network to the detriment of consumers.

Washington, D.C. – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading trade association for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, has filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the Commission to use extreme caution as it considers new regulation of the Internet.

"TIA appreciates the Commission's observation that the 'Internet's openness and the transparency of its protocols have been critical to its success,'" said TIA President Grant Seiffert. "TIA could not agree more. TIA's members all benefit from these two pillars of the Internet's foundation. Thus, the Commission can – and should – monitor the development of the broadband market and take action where required to preserve those dual goals."

"However, the 'open Internet' is – and always has been – a managed Internet," Seiffert continued. "Indeed, as the cycle of innovation, investment and consumer demand continues, the core of the broadband network has become increasingly intelligent to better manage the staggering growth in consumer demand for the latest broadband applications and services. Particularly in light of the lack of any demonstrated harm, TIA is concerned that any effort to develop rules seemingly to enhance the open Internet will in fact hinder investment and innovation in a way that could seriously undermine the continued growth and evolution of the network - all to the detriment of consumers."

To further inform the Commission in this proceeding, TIA included with its filing three technical declarations from industry consultants that provide a technical analysis of the wireline platform, the cable platform, and managed services, including a description of the architecture, causes of congestion, and network management practices that benefit consumers. TIA will focus on wireless platforms in reply comments. Each declaration also includes an analysis of the potential impact of the proposed rules on the consumer experience, innovation, and investment, substantiating TIA's position. Additionally, TIA filed a white paper that describes Quality of Service Control on the wireless 3GPP Evolved Packet System.

"Before it takes any action in this proceeding, the Commission must recognize that its current regulatory approach, as reflected in its Policy Statement, has been successful in promoting a vibrant Internet ecosystem and in encouraging significant investment in the development and deployment of broadband infrastructure," Seiffert added. "The Commission's effective approach has depended in large part not only on the willingness and authority of the Commission to police anticompetitive conduct, but on the flexibility the approach affords to content, applications, and network providers; consumers; and the Commission itself.

Consequently, the Commission should decline to replace the flexible approach allowed by the Policy Statement with prophylactic rules."

TIA urged the the Commission to act with great care as it contemplates the proposals set out in the Notice.

"At the most, the Commission should consider adopting an additional principle of disclosure that is focused on the needs of consumers. In the event the Commission decides to adopt additional rules, it must ensure that there is sufficient flexibility to allow broadband Internet service providers and infrastructure manufacturers to provide managed services and to continue the use of reasonable network management tools to meet the needs of subscribers, public safety, law enforcement and homeland security. Finally, the Commission should continue to rely on a case-by-case approach to alleged violations so as to permit continued innovation in broadband services while still guarding against anticompetitive conduct," Seiffert concluded.

The full text of TIA's comments is available on its FCC filings page at

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About TIA
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry through standards development, advocacy, tradeshows, business opportunities, market intelligence and world-wide environmental regulatory analysis. Since 1924, TIA has worked to enhance the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment and entertainment.

TIA co-owns the SUPERCOMM® tradeshow  and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Visit

TIA's Board of Directors includes senior-level executives from ACS, ADC, ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, ANDA Networks, AttivaCorp, Avaya, Bechtel Communications, Inc., Cisco Systems, Corning Incorporated, Ericsson, Inc., GENBAND, Inc., Graybar, Henkels & McCoy, ILS Technology, Intel Corporation, Intersect, Inc., LGE, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, Openwave, Inc., Panasonic Computer Solutions Co., Powerwave Technologies, Qualcomm, Research In Motion, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Corporation, Tellabs, Tyco Electronics, Ulticom, Inc., and Verari Systems. Advisors to the Board include FAL Associates, Orca Systems and Telcordia Technologies. 

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