GSMA Open Letter to President Obama on Net Neutrality

An open letter

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
N.W. Washington,
DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We, the network operators, remain strong advocates of an open Internet. In recent years, we have made enormous investments to build the infrastructure that serves as the foundation of the Internet. In doing so, network operators have transformed the way people communicate, do business, access information and are entertained. At the same time, the Internet revolution has created untold economic opportunities for individuals as well as American companies, large and small. All of this, to-date, has been done in an environment of the light-touch regulation that has fostered investment and innovation.

And that is why we are deeply concerned about the impact that your endorsement of re-classification of the Internet as a Title II utility-like telecom service will have on the future of the Internet.

Heavy-handed regulation, in place of the light-touch approach that has enabled Internet proliferation, will stifle the very innovation and investment that has long been the hallmark of the United States’ leadership in the technology sector, and that serve as an important contributor to the nation’s economy.

This is particularly true of mobile broadband services. In 2010, the FCC rightly recognized that mobile broadband is different from wireline broadband services and warranted a lighter touch regulatory approach. This conclusion is as relevant today as it was in 2010. Yet, calls to make wireline utility rules fully applicable to mobile broadband, even if recognising the unique technical challenges of managing wireless networks, repudiates the FCC’s own earlier conclusions and will harm investment and innovation in a critical infrastructure and the consumers that rely upon it.

The FCC has the authority, under Section 706, to establish and tailor appropriate rules to protect consumers and competition in today’s broadband world. This power is substantive and full, and thus renders re-classification under Title II unnecessary. We urge you to reconsider your plan to regulate the Internet, which threatens its very future.

Most Respectfully,

Anne Bouverot
Director General, GSMA

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