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August 30, 2017

Returning Mobile Broadband Regulation to Its Bipartisan Roots .

Returning Mobile Broadband Regulation to Its Bipartisan Roots


CTIA SVP Scott Bergmann
Scott Bergmann
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

The wireless industry prides itself on delivering high speeds, innovative services, and an open internet experience to consumers.  And we’ve long believed that the best way to promote openness, continued innovation, and world-leading wireless networks is through bipartisan legislation.

That’s why today we called on the FCC to undo the misguided Title II rules and on Congress to seize the opportunity to end the regulatory uncertainty that has surrounded this issue for years.

By following through on the agency’s proposed rulemaking, the FCC would do right by America’s wireless consumers and clear the way to unleash greater investment that will provide a significant shot in the arm to the U.S. economy.

As America’s mobile industry prepares to roll out 5G, the next-generation of wireless, we cannot afford investment-stifling rules stand in the way of the 3 million new jobs and $500 billion in economic growth that 5G will provide. That’s particularly true as other countries are racing to claim America’s position as a global leader in wireless.

We can’t afford to fall behind. CTIA’s annual survey shows a 17% drop in investment in 2016 – the first full year under Title II. If that trend continues, we risk not only maintaining our wireless leadership, but doing lasting harm to one of the most competitive sectors in our economy.

Today’s wireless customers enjoy broad choice and the ability to change carriers at will. And leading economists have substantiated what wireless consumers know from experience: wireless speeds are up and prices are down.

Mobile providers are engaged in a “vigorous competitive rivalry” to win consumers from each other—a fact made readily apparent from carriers’ intense marketing and advertising campaigns enticing consumers to switch providers.

In today’s filing we also underscored the need for the federal government to make clear that mobile broadband is an interstate service subject to federal regulation.

This matters because restoring Internet freedom without such a jurisdictional ruling would reintroduce the very uncertainty that the agency is rightfully seeking to eliminate in this proceeding. A patchwork quilt of state regulations for a service like mobile broadband would create substantial investment risk and a compliance nightmare, not to mention consumer harm and confusion.

America’s wireless industry is ready to continue doing what we do best: investing and innovating to bring our consumers the best mobile networks, offerings, and experience possible. With the record complete, the FCC is now rightfully poised to return broadband regulation to its bipartisan roots in a framework “unfettered by Federal or State regulation.”

Filing here

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