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Baker: Mr. Chairman, Tear Down That Title II Docket - Broadcasting & Cable

Baker: Mr. Chairman, Tear Down That Title II Docket

Says closing docket necessary to provide increased marketplace certainty
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Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker renewed her call for the FCC to close its Title II reclassification proceeding.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has signaled he plans to use Title I authority to justify new net neutrality regs scheduled for a Dec. 21 vote. But senior officials have said the Title II docket remains open. That means it would still be possible to reclassify broadband access as a common carrier service if the FCC runs into too much trouble defending its net regs under Title I.

In a blog posting Tuesday, Baker says that the chairman should either close that proceeding or "provide a public rationale to consumers and investors why such a jobs-killing proposal remains open." She argues that if the chairman really wants to provide increased marketplace certainty and spur investment with his net regs, he needs to close the Title II docket.

"What certainty can the Commission provide industry if there remains an open and active docket under which three Commissioners-at any time-could flip a switch and treat broadband as a monopoly-era service?," she asked. Certainly any move toward Title II would send the FCC's network neutrality rules to court by industry players who signed on to a Title I approach, and only grudgingly at that.

Both Baker and fellow Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell have indicated their strong opposition to the chairman's Dec. 21 vote on new regs.

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