AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is reaching out to Congress for clarification regarding the situation of broadband access.
The ISP executive asked the House of Representatives to forbid a couple of demeanors including blocking specific types of contents or slowing down of internet access. Else, other states will chip in and follow what California already did – forging and passing their own net neutrality rules.
Broadband providers used to oppose the rules set by the former FCC administration way back in 2015. AT&T is one of those ISPs that favor the decision of the current FCC administration under Ajit Pai as the chairman, to repeal net neutrality regulations that took effect in June 2018.
It seems like AT&T could foresee or is now experiencing the consequences of the FCC’s decision to curb the open internet. The telecom company desires a different federal rule that will not be as stringent as state laws or the dismantled 2015 Open Internet Order of the previous Obama-era administration.
Stephenson said, “We’ve got a mess coming at us, literally states independently going out and designing their own privacy regulation. How do you do business in a world where you have 50 different regulations and rules around privacy?”
Evidently, he did not mention the prohibition of paid prioritization which was forbidden from the nixed net neutrality rule and California’s new law that AT&T and other broadband providers are disputing in court.
Likewise, he did not demand any restrictions on zero-rating. It is the practice of relieving some internet content from data caps. Usually, this is in correspond for payment from content providers. One of the provisions in the California net neutrality law is the banning of paid zero-rating because this will compel AT&T to cease charging companies for a data cap exception.
But what will happen to his request since Democrats who are net neutrality advocates won the House after the midterm elections? It is the Congress that will decide if CRA is still needed to overrule the current FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.