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I believe the FCC should follow the courtâ€™s guidance and reclassify broadband as a Telecommunications Service under Title II of the Communications Act. Importantly, Title II designation also gives the FCC certainty to protect consumers from fraudulent billing practices and privacy infringements while maintaining the guarantee that Voice-over-Internet Protocol calls and other data will reach their destination without interference, as called for in the Network Compact. The lawâ€™s forbearance mechanism is an appropriate tool to refine modern rules and will prevent the FCC from overburdening broadband providers.
Wireless carriers are classified as telecommunications services. Verizon blankets the entire country, has generally reliable networks, but is expensive. Number two, in terms of subscribers, AT&T is roughly the same. Sprint, a distant third, has decent service at a decent price but is nothing special. Fourth T-Mobile has blocks of geographic areas with fast data connections but cannot be depended on for fast and reliable connectivity throughout the country. The point is: although wireless service can be better almost all of us have multiple choices.
Not so with broadband. If a reclassification of broadband as a telecommunication service leads to what we currently experience with wireless carriers — more and hopefully better choices — it’s a small step toward the right direction.