Net Neutrality issue: GSMA voices its concern on the proposal to regulate internet

Internet-Shutdown-IndiaGSMA Director General, Anne Bouverot has called for a continued light-touch regulation approach that has successfully underpinned the success of the internet in an open letter to US President Barack Obama.

Bouverot wrote that we, the network operators, remain strong advocates of an open Internet. In recent years, we have made enormous investments to build the infrastructure that serves as the foundation of the Internet.

“In doing so, network operators have transformed the way people communicate, do business, access information and are entertained. At the same time, the Internet revolution has created untold economic opportunities for individuals as well as American companies, large and small. All of this, to-date, has been done in an environment of the light-touch regulation that has fostered investment and innovation,” she said in her letter to Obama.

“And that is why we are deeply concerned about the impact that your endorsement of re-classification of the Internet as a Title II utility-like telecom service will have on the future of the Internet,” she said.

“Heavy-handed regulation, in place of the light-touch approach that has enabled Internet proliferation, will stifle the very innovation and investment that has long been the hallmark of the United States’ leadership in the technology sector, and that serve as an important contributor to the nation’s economy,” a letter said.

“This is particularly true of mobile broadband services. In 2010, the FCC rightly recognized that mobile broadband is different from wire line broadband services and warranted a lighter touch regulatory approach. This conclusion is as relevant today as it was in 2010,” according to a letter.

“Yet, calls to make wire line utility rules fully applicable to mobile broadband, even if recognising the unique technical challenges of managing wireless networks, repudiates the FCC’s own earlier conclusions and will harm investment and innovation in a critical infrastructure and the consumers that rely upon it,” Bouverot said in her a letter.

Lastly, she said, the FCC has the authority, under Section 706, to establish and tailor appropriate rules to protect consumers and competition in today’s broadband world. This power is substantive and full, and thus renders reclassification under Title II unnecessary. We urge you to reconsider your plan to regulate the Internet, which threatens it’s very future.

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