Tuesday (July 27) was industry's turn in the ongoing meetings over
a legislative response to the Comcast/BitTorrent court decision that the
FCC had not justified its statutory authority over regulating broadband
According to an ex parte filing released by the FCC Thursday,
Jim Cicconi of AT&T and National Cable & Telecommunications
Association President Kyle McSlarrow met with FCC Chief of Staff Edward
Lazarus to talk about "potential legislation concerning a regulatory
framework for promoting Internet openness."
The FCC continues to collect comment on the "third
way" proposal through which the FCC would, on its own dime, try to clarify
that authority by reclassifying broadband transmissions as a Title II common
carrier service while choosing not to apply (forbearing) most of those regs.
But in the face of hefty pushback from Congress--Republican and
Democrat alike--on the "third way," the FCC has also been hosting
discussions about targeted legislation with industry players and
net neutrality advocates, including companies like Google and Skype, on
the other side of the debate.
Among the specific topics of discussion in Tuesday's meeting were
prohibitions on blocking lawful content, discrimination that "materially
harms consumers or competition," disclosure and complaint resolution.
The cable and telco industries want to head off an FCC Title
II reclassification declaratory ruling--the FCC would not need to issue a rulemaking--but
have long argued that legislative network neutrality mandates, particularly a
too-heavy handed nondiscrimination rule, could prevent them from reasonably
managing their networks, discourage investment and actually work against the
broadband deployment that is currently the FCC's prime directive.