Sprint and T-Mobile US seemed cautiously optimistic that the FCC's new net neutrality rules won't harm them and will protect the open Internet, while Verizon and AT&T were dismayed and characterized the FCC's action as misguided.
The FCC is set to vote on final net neutrality rules on Feb. 26, and T-Mobile US and the CTIA are urging the agency to give wireless carriers a great deal of flexibility in designing new service plans and business models.
Last week the largest U.S. wireless carriers agreed to let customers who have fulfilled their contracts unlock their phones and tablets and move to another carrier. Yet according to the consumer advocate who spurred the movement to change unlocking policies, Sprint and T-Mobile US in particular are not fully meeting their six commitments under the new policy.
As part of an agreement between the CTIA and FCC, the nation's largest U.S. wireless carriers agreed to let customers who have fulfilled their contracts unlock their phones and tablets and move to another carrier.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's draft order to create net neutrality rules will apply all of the rules to mobile broadband networks for the first time. One of the practical effects of the proposed rules is that wireless carriers would have less flexibility to deploy "reasonable network management" practices on their networks. The rules would also put future uses of zero-rating and sponsored data programs under the microscope to ensure they are not harming consumers or content providers.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made official what he has been hinting at for around a month: He will introduce a proposal to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act as part of an effort to craft net neutrality rules. Wheeler also clearly stated that the rules will apply to wireless networks.
As has been widely expected, multiple media reports indicate that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will introduce a draft order to codify net neutrality rules that would reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Additionally, according to one report, the draft order will place mobile data services under that regulatory regime--something that is sure to provoke fierce backlash from the CTIA and wireless carriers.
The FCC voted unanimously to adopt new rules are intended to help improve how first responders locate people who dial 911 on their wireless phones from indoor locations, including in multi-story buildings.
CTIA is stepping up its opposition to the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules for mobile broadband after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler indicated this week that he favored reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
CTIA is arguing that even if the FCC chose to reclassify broadband as a common carrier service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act as part of an effort to craft new net neutrality regulations, mobile broadband would be legally exempt from such Title II rules.