Sprint and T-Mobile, Unlike Verizon and AT&T, Support Net Neutrality Decision
The recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling on Net Neutrality sent shockwaves throughout the telecomm industry, with major players Verizon and AT&T both deriding the decision to reclassify the Internet as a public utility. The two other national U.S. carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile, however, seem unfazed.
In a company statement soon after the FCC announced its vote, Sprint voiced its support for the move to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.
"Sprint has been a leader in supporting an open Internet and commends the FCC for its hard work in arriving at a thoughtful, measured approach on this important issue," Sprint said. "We believe balanced net neutrality rules with a light regulatory touch will benefit consumers, while fostering mobile broadband competition, investment and innovation in the United States."
T-Mobile's eccentric CEO John Legere also came out in favor of the FCC.
"As the consumer advocate, we have always believed in competition and in a free, open Internet with rules that protect net neutrality -- no blocking, no discrimination and transparency," Legere said in a T-Mobile press release. "I am hopeful that the FCC's new rules will let us continue to offer innovative services to consumers in our typical Un-carrier fashion, but obviously we need to read through all of the details."
T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert also brushed aside the decision, saying the new Net Neutrality rules wouldn't really hurt the company's business.
The two carriers' statements stand in stark contrast to rivals Verizon and AT&T, who were both unhappy with the ruling. In fact, Verizon was so incensed the company released its response to the Net Neutrality decision in Morse code, mocking the idea of using a framework that was created more than 80 years ago to regulate a new, dynamic technology.
Part of the major controversy surrounding Net Neutrality is the creation of Internet "fast lanes," where certain content providers can purchase extra bandwidth in order to ensure their content is delivered at high speeds even at times when others' are throttled. By reclassifying the Internet as a public utility, the FCC can now launch investigations into such matters in the interest of the public.
AT&T isn't convinced this will solve any problems in the long run. AT&T senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs Jim Coccini pointed out that because the vote was 3-2, and not unanimous, a vote in two years can render the decision null.
"FCC decisions made without clear authorization by Congress (and who can honestly argue Congress intended this?) can be undone quickly by Congress or the courts," Coccini wrote. "This may suit partisans who lust for issues of political division, but it isn't healthy for the Internet ecosystem, for the economy, or for our political system. And, followed to its logical conclusion, this will do long-term damage to the FCC as well."
What do you think of the FCC's decision to reclassify the Internet as a public utility? Let us know in the comments section below.
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