Verizon, prepared for the FCC decision to embrace “net-neutrality” rules on Thursday, had a ready response once the decision became final. The company issued a press release mocking the new standard by dating the press release February 26, 1934, and titling it, “Title II Regulations a ‘Net’ Loss for Innovation and Consumers: FCC’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ Move Imposes 1930s Rules on the Internet.”
Not only did Verizon limn the release in terms that were appropriate 80 years ago, the release appears as if it was printed on a manual typewriter. The release reads:
Today (Feb. 26) the Federal Communications Commission approved an order urged by President Obama that imposes rules on broadband Internet services that were written in the era of the steam locomotive and the telegraph. The following statement should be attributed to Michael E. Glover, Verizon senior vice president, public policy and government affairs:
“Today’s decision by the FCC to encumber broadband Internet services with badly antiquated regulations is a radical step that presages a time of uncertainty for consumers, innovators and investors. Over the past two decades a bipartisan, light- touch policy approach unleashed unprecedented investment and enabled the broadband Internet age consumers now enjoy.
“The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation. Changing a platform that has been so successful should be done, if at all, only after careful policy analysis, full transparency, and by the legislature, which is constitutionally charged with determining policy. As a result, it is likely that history will judge today’s actions as misguided.
“The FCC’s move is especially regrettable because it is wholly unnecessary. The FCC had targeted tools available to preserve an open Internet, but instead chose to use this order as an excuse to adopt 300- plus pages of broad and open- ended regulatory arcana that will have unintended negative consequences for consumers and various parts of the Internet ecosystem for years to come.
“What has been and will remain constant before, during and after the existence of any regulations is Verizon’s commitment to an open Internet that provides consumers with competitive broadband choices and Internet access when, where, and how they want.”
In April 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in Comcast Corp. v. FCC that the FCC had no ancillary jurisdiction over Comcast’s Internet service. The FCC rebelled in December of 2010, issuing its FCC Open Internet order. One month later, Verizon sued the FCC, stating that the Open Internet order was exceeding the authority granted to the FCC by Congress. The court ruled for Verizon, based on the fact that since the FCC had previously classified broadband providers under Title I of the Communications Act of 1034, it had given up the right to regulate them as if they were “common carriers.”