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Electronics CEO Gary Shapiro Says Broadband Should Not Be Regulated as a Utility

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WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – The head of the leading trade association for the electronics industry on Wednesday weighed in against classifying broadband as a utility and subjecting it to extensive government regulation.

Instead, regulators should follow a “minimal harm first” principle, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, in a speech at the Brookings Institution here.

Seeking to regulate telecom providers under Title II of the Communications Act would punish success. Communications giants like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications should instead be encouraged to invest as much as possible in the U.S. infrastructure, because “we need their broadband.”

“I’m very fearful of suddenly sending those companies into a new area of regulation – like utilities –where you used to regulate every connection and every device,” he said. “It took 100 years from the invention of the telephone to get to the point of competition and it was unhealthy. But I do want what I have today, which is the ability to get anything I want on the internet, so I like things the way they are.”

The condescending treatment of telecom giants has fostered a lack of trust, he continued. Every time government goes after them, it’s “catnip” for Europeans who wish to encourage American tech companies to move overseas.

“Good intentions scare me,” Shapiro said. “I think [we] should be challenging the industry to come up with what they view as the best practice and let industries and bodies like this one (the Brookings Institution) come up with principles, and if the principles are violated, then act.”

Shapiro also criticized recent Europe Union court decisions for its efforts to balkanize and “blockade the internet.”

“The worst thing I can envision is where there are borders around every country and we cannot communicate and share information,” he said. The internet, he said, ” is our gift to the world.” It is “one of the best things that I think history will prove that the U.S. has done.”

Education

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel Unveils Proposed Rules for Emergency Connectivity Fund

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on Friday released rules for the Emergency Connectivity Fund, answering many questions about the program.

Benjamin Kahn

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Photo of Jessica Rosenworcel from the FCC

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – The head of the leading trade association for the electronics industry on Wednesday weighed in against classifying broadband as a utility and subjecting it to extensive government regulation.

Instead, regulators should follow a “minimal harm first” principle, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, in a speech at the Brookings Institution here.

Seeking to regulate telecom providers under Title II of the Communications Act would punish success. Communications giants like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications should instead be encouraged to invest as much as possible in the U.S. infrastructure, because “we need their broadband.”

“I’m very fearful of suddenly sending those companies into a new area of regulation – like utilities –where you used to regulate every connection and every device,” he said. “It took 100 years from the invention of the telephone to get to the point of competition and it was unhealthy. But I do want what I have today, which is the ability to get anything I want on the internet, so I like things the way they are.”

The condescending treatment of telecom giants has fostered a lack of trust, he continued. Every time government goes after them, it’s “catnip” for Europeans who wish to encourage American tech companies to move overseas.

“Good intentions scare me,” Shapiro said. “I think [we] should be challenging the industry to come up with what they view as the best practice and let industries and bodies like this one (the Brookings Institution) come up with principles, and if the principles are violated, then act.”

Shapiro also criticized recent Europe Union court decisions for its efforts to balkanize and “blockade the internet.”

“The worst thing I can envision is where there are borders around every country and we cannot communicate and share information,” he said. The internet, he said, ” is our gift to the world.” It is “one of the best things that I think history will prove that the U.S. has done.”

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FCC

Rosenworcel Says Anti-Muni Network Legislation Unfair, Hopes States Change Their Tune

FCC acting chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said she hopes state legislatures change stance on muni builds.

Benjamin Kahn

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WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – The head of the leading trade association for the electronics industry on Wednesday weighed in against classifying broadband as a utility and subjecting it to extensive government regulation.

Instead, regulators should follow a “minimal harm first” principle, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, in a speech at the Brookings Institution here.

Seeking to regulate telecom providers under Title II of the Communications Act would punish success. Communications giants like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications should instead be encouraged to invest as much as possible in the U.S. infrastructure, because “we need their broadband.”

“I’m very fearful of suddenly sending those companies into a new area of regulation – like utilities –where you used to regulate every connection and every device,” he said. “It took 100 years from the invention of the telephone to get to the point of competition and it was unhealthy. But I do want what I have today, which is the ability to get anything I want on the internet, so I like things the way they are.”

The condescending treatment of telecom giants has fostered a lack of trust, he continued. Every time government goes after them, it’s “catnip” for Europeans who wish to encourage American tech companies to move overseas.

“Good intentions scare me,” Shapiro said. “I think [we] should be challenging the industry to come up with what they view as the best practice and let industries and bodies like this one (the Brookings Institution) come up with principles, and if the principles are violated, then act.”

Shapiro also criticized recent Europe Union court decisions for its efforts to balkanize and “blockade the internet.”

“The worst thing I can envision is where there are borders around every country and we cannot communicate and share information,” he said. The internet, he said, ” is our gift to the world.” It is “one of the best things that I think history will prove that the U.S. has done.”

Continue Reading

Broadband's Impact

FCC Fines Company $4.1 Million for Slamming and Cramming Consumer Phone Lines

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday fined Tele Circuit Network Corporation for switching consumers’ service providers.

Benjamin Kahn

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on

Photo of Geoffrey Starks by Amelia Holowaty Krales of the Verge

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – The head of the leading trade association for the electronics industry on Wednesday weighed in against classifying broadband as a utility and subjecting it to extensive government regulation.

Instead, regulators should follow a “minimal harm first” principle, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, in a speech at the Brookings Institution here.

Seeking to regulate telecom providers under Title II of the Communications Act would punish success. Communications giants like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications should instead be encouraged to invest as much as possible in the U.S. infrastructure, because “we need their broadband.”

“I’m very fearful of suddenly sending those companies into a new area of regulation – like utilities –where you used to regulate every connection and every device,” he said. “It took 100 years from the invention of the telephone to get to the point of competition and it was unhealthy. But I do want what I have today, which is the ability to get anything I want on the internet, so I like things the way they are.”

The condescending treatment of telecom giants has fostered a lack of trust, he continued. Every time government goes after them, it’s “catnip” for Europeans who wish to encourage American tech companies to move overseas.

“Good intentions scare me,” Shapiro said. “I think [we] should be challenging the industry to come up with what they view as the best practice and let industries and bodies like this one (the Brookings Institution) come up with principles, and if the principles are violated, then act.”

Shapiro also criticized recent Europe Union court decisions for its efforts to balkanize and “blockade the internet.”

“The worst thing I can envision is where there are borders around every country and we cannot communicate and share information,” he said. The internet, he said, ” is our gift to the world.” It is “one of the best things that I think history will prove that the U.S. has done.”

Continue Reading

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