Blog July 17, 2017

Our longstanding commitment to a vibrant and open internet

In comments filed today, Charter reiterates our longstanding commitment to a vibrant and open internet. We support the FCC returning internet access to the light-touch regulatory framework in place for more than two decades that kept up with the speed of innovation.  Title II, written for the monopoly phone service in the 1930’s, is simply not designed to foster 21st century broadband innovation and deployment.  Charter stands ready to work with the FCC and Congress on a bipartisan basis to preserve an open internet and spur broadband deployment for more Americans for decades to come.

Charter is fully committed to an open internet and we remain steadfast in our mission to deliver superior high-speed broadband to our customers so they can access the legal content they want, when and where they want it.

  • Charter does not block or slow online activity or otherwise interfere with our customers’ online activity.  And we offer at least 60 Mbps or higher across our footprint, and don’t impose data caps or usage based pricing all because we want our customers to use and value our broadband.

The growth and innovation across the internet ecosystem occurred because of light-touch regulatory treatment of internet access services.

  • Title II was created to regulate telephone monopolies in the 1930s. Innovation of landline telephone service has largely occurred at a snail’s pace.
  • In contrast, for roughly a twenty year period, the internet ecosystem was governed by “Title I,” a framework that allowed the Internet ecosystem to grow and innovate every day.   Consumers have gone from using dial up modems in the mid-1990s to consuming a median broadband speed of 39 Mpbs in 2015 with access to much faster speeds in many locations.
  • This allowed, for example, Netflix to transform practically overnight from a mail-order DVD business into one of the world’s largest streaming video services. The enormous innovation and growth in online video services like Netflix could not have happened absent the tremendous investments of ISPs like us in higher bandwidth.

Title II did not anticipate and is not designed to foster broadband or 21st century technologies. The awkward fit of Title II was essentially acknowledged by the Commission when they decided to forbear30 different sections from Title II.

  • Given the significant investment in broadband and the velocity of innovation across the internet ecosystem under a light-touch regulatory framework, it doesn’t make sense to regulate broadband using the same 1930’s era framework applied to a rotary phone.
  • It’s why we support the Federal Communications Commission returning to the Title I classification of internet access services.

An open internet should be protected, and there needs to be investment and innovation to bring broadband to more people and to provide the environment for online services to flourish.

  • The best way to achieve these objectives is to return to the light touch regulatory environment of Title I and for Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that addresses consumer protection and infrastructure investment in the internet ecosystem.