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April 8, 2019

A Blueprint for the Bipartisan Net Neutrality Legislation Americans Deserve .

A Blueprint for the Bipartisan Net Neutrality Legislation Americans Deserve

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Kelly Cole
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs

The wireless industry is committed to delivering an open internet experience to all consumers. Always have and always will. And the best way to ensure this openness is through bipartisan federal legislation.

Because after 15-plus years of policy battles, it’s time to permanently protect the principles of net neutrality for everyone.

The status quo—where changes in political leadership mean changes in the internet’s regulatory regime—is bad for consumers, bad for business, and should be resolved by federal legislation once and for all.

By focusing on areas of bipartisan agreement, policymakers can stop the net neutrality ping-pong that has gone on for too long.

In fact, there’s a lot of agreement among stakeholders that should help us all find common ground. Wireless service providers, consumers, and policymakers—on both sides of the aisle—agree on key principles:

  • No blocking of lawful traffic.
  • No unfair throttling or other discrimination based on content.
  • Transparency in network management practices.

Federal legislation should permanently enshrine these core net neutrality principles and avoid outdated, heavy-handed regulations designed to govern monopolies.

We need a net neutrality law designed specifically for the 21st century internet that encourages innovation and competition, and jumpstarts deployment across the country. The internet is too important to be a political football: nearly every sector of the U.S. economy looks to our platform to innovate in a 21st century global marketplace.

Congress should put an end to the uncertainty—for all parts of the internet ecosystem and all consumers and businesses that rely on this remarkable engine of innovation.

Federal net neutrality legislation will also enable America’s wireless industry to focus their investment to deploy wireless to communities across the country and make sure we maintain our global wireless leadership. This kind of investment brought us all higher speeds—a 40-fold increase in the last decade—and falling wireless prices.

On the other hand, in the first full year under Title II regulations, wireless investment dropped 17 percent. In particular, that decline hurt rural communities—areas that often present challenging business cases already, with sparse populations over expansive distances and frequently difficult terrain.

A federal law should also guarantee that state broadband regulations do not contravene federal policies or slow wireless deployment. Crossing state lines doesn’t change your mobile experience. The laws governing that experience shouldn’t change either.

The U.S. became the global leader in wireless because of our commitment to customer-driven openness and competition. The wireless industry is proud of that, because we know it’s American consumers who ultimately benefit.

Let’s enact net neutrality legislation on a bipartisan basis so we can stop re-litigating yesterday’s legal battles and focus on our shared—and connected—future.

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