CTIA: We'd Consider Suing Over Net Rules If More Wireless Regs Added - Broadcasting & Cable

CTIA: We'd Consider Suing Over Net Rules If More Wireless Regs Added

Largent says CTIA's support was between lesser of two evils
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CTIA: The Wireless Association says
it reluctantly agreed to an FCC network neutrality proposal currently teed
up for a Dec. 21 vote, and still does. But CTIA President Steve Largent
also said Friday that if the FCC tried to impose more than the transparency and
non-blocking items now applied in the draft order, his association would oppose
it and would not rule out taking it to court.

Largent said the issue was "a moving ball as
we speak," and would continue to change and evolve. To that end, he also
said the group had meetings scheduled with Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and were
looking to schedule one Monday or Tuesday to talk about the issue. Both have
suggested that they might want to apply more of the net neutrality regs to
wireless broadband as they work on edits and input to the draft in advance of
the vote.

The FCC has been talking up industry support for
the compromise, but Republican Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker
suggested in a speech this week that was kind of like offering a kid the choice
between broccoli and brussels sprouts, then saying they liked whichever of
the two they picked.

Industry players have been basically on the same
page, supporting the chairman's proposal grudgingly, as the preferable of two
unnecessary regulatory moves.

In a meeting with reporters Friday, Largent made
it clear CTIA's support was between the lesser of two evils. With the
FCC moving away from Title II, we applaud that, moving towards Title I,
they are moving in a direction that we can reluctantly support, he said.
"I don't think any rules should apply to wireless at all," said
Largent. "I feel like we have compromised by coming to the table to the
point where we are now. To think that they would want to pull us in further, I
think the industry would be very, very resistant, and would oppose that
effort."

Asked if that opposition would be enough to take
the new regs to court if they stray too far from that compromise, he said "I
think that is definitely an option that would be considered."

But while CTIA said net neutrality and bill shock were two issues
where it did not see eye-to-eye with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, he and
the other commissioners got high marks for teeing up Universal Service Reform,
spectrum reclamation, tower citing, pole attachments and several other issues.

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