Tell us what you really think, Verizon. The company yesterday issued a press release titled “Congress Needs to Update the Nation’s Antiquated and Anti-Competitive Telecom Rules” — which, as you can guess, isn’t exactly a love letter to the FCC.
Verizon executive vice president of public affairs Tom Tauke is quoted as saying in the release: “The grinding you hear are the gears churning as policymakers try to fit fast-changing technologies and competitive markets into regulatory boxes built for analog technologies and monopoly markets.”
The company’s frustration isn’t unwarranted. The FCC is still fighting for authority when it comes to regulating the internet, mainly because current telecom rules aren’t suited to the issues we’re facing today like net neutrality. The agency tried to reclassify internet communications in a “third way” that gave it more authority earlier this year — after a US court declared that the FCC didn’t have the authority to impose net neutrality on providers.
Verizon’s position now is even more extreme than its stance earlier this year, when it proposed its policy for an “open internet” together with Google. The company is now proposing four components that it feels are necessary for a new policy to guide the internet: It should be a federal framework; allow for case-by-case rulings; government intervention should be allowed only to protect consumers from harm or to stop anti-competitive activity; and perhaps most importantly, a single federal agency should be given clear jurisdiction.
As Engadget points out, Congress already started looking into a revamp of the Telecommunications Act earlier this year. Perhaps Verizon’s prodding will move things along even more quickly.