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NCTA, CTIA at odds over net neutrality

Fri, 11/05/2010 - 8:30am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association took a jab at the wireless industry in comments filed with the FCC yesterday.

The NCTA argued that wireless providers should not be excluded from net neutrality regulations if the FCC decides to move forward on the issue.

"Nothing about wireless technology or the role of wireless in the broadband marketplace is so unique as to warrant the complete exemption of wireless providers from rules that may be adopted," the NCTA wrote.

The NCTA's comments put it at odds with the wireless industry and CTIA, which argues that spectrum-based broadband Internet services present unique challenges for network management and should be excluded from net neutrality regulations.

"CTIA and others have repeatedly demonstrated the key differences between wireless and wireline Internet access that make application of net neutrality rules to wireless particularly inappropriate," CTIA wrote in its comments, which it filed yesterday.

The NCTA and CTIA also disagreed on whether the FCC had legal authority to apply net neutrality regulations to wireless, with the NCTA arguing that wireless broadband is an information service, and "as such is no more or less within the FCC's authority to impose net neutrality requirements as any other broadband information service."

CTIA argued in its comments that the FCC does not have the legal authority to impose net neutrality regulations on the wireless industry, citing the First Amendment and prohibitions on imposing common carrier requirements on telecommunications services.

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