Restraint Needed in FCC Regulation over Internet

From The Hill, “Big business groups warn FCC to back off of efforts to push net neutrality plans“:

“The Commission should refrain from moving forward without congressional authority,” said Marc-Anthony Signorino, director of technology policy for the National Association of Manufacturers.

He said the FCC should quickly implement its plan to have a technical advisory board composed of engineers who can “examine the core issues without getting into politics.”

“Had that been in place, the whole Comcast-BitTorrent thing would never have happened,” he said.

The NAM, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and TechAmerica held a conference call with reporters in anticipation of filings with the FCC on the open Internet proceedings.

Elsewhere, Coleman Bazelon of The Brattle Group has completed an economic analysis of the effects of FCC imposition of net neutrality mandates on the broadband industry, “The Employment and Economic Impacts of Network Neutrality Regulation: An Empirical Analysis.” Bazelon identifies economic harm that would result from new regs.

If the network neutrality regulations being considered by the FCC were implemented:
• Revenue growth in the broadband sector could slow by about one-sixth over the next
decade;
• Broadband sector jobs lost could be expected to total 14,217 in 2011, growing to 342,065
jobs by 2020;
• Economy-wide, 65,404 jobs could be put in jeopardy in 2011, with the total economywide
impact growing to 1,452,943 jobs affected by 2020 due to reduced revenue growth
in the broadband sector.

Mobile broadband, the fastest growing segment of the market, would suffer the largest impact, the analysis found.

Bazelon’s research was sponsored by Mobile Future (www.mobilefuture.org).

UPDATE (5:10 p.m.): About The Hill’s headline: The NAM is a big group that represents business, but it is not a big-business group. We have thousands of small and medium-sized companies as members, too. And contrary to some people’s perceptions, net neutrality isn’t just a concern for the big telecom companies. As Broadcasting and Cable reports, citing Marc-Anthony:

Why is the National Association of Manufacturers weighing in? He said it is aw “huge issue” for a number of his members, including companies that manage networks, that make fiber, that dig the trenches, and that make the tools that dig the trenches that hold the fiber.

He also said the businesses are consumers of broadband and want the fast speeds and access that could be discouraged by too heavy a regulatory hand. Essentially, the groups argue the deployment is better driven by the marketplace of investment and innovation, with the regulatory rules of the road explicitly laid out by Congress.

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