AT&T: FCC has never had regulatory power over broadband

AT&T lobbyist Hank Hultquist disputes that the FCC ever had the authority over broadband that it seeks today.

His comments in a blog post fuel the fast-growing fight over whether the FCC can or should reclassify broadband as a "Title II" service, rather than the "Title I" service it is today. The D.C. Circuit clearly said last week that the FCC can not impose net neutrality rules with the current classification.

A host of legal experts and lobbyists have made the case that the FCC should be able to revert back to Title II, since the agency used to have regulatory authority over DSL and other broadband services until 2002, when they were reclassified as Title I.

"But the truth is that the FCC has never regulated “broadband Internet access” under Title II. In fact, the FCC has never regulated any type of Internet access under Title II," Hultquist wrote.

"The bottom line is that this idea that broadband Internet access was once in the Eden of Title II, only to have paradise lost by putting it under Title I is revisionist history," he continued. "The reality is that if the Commission decides to classify any Internet access service as a telecommunications service under Title II, it would be doing so for the first time. And that would be unprecedented."

Read his entire post here.

Here's a video of Hultquist's views of net neutrality, courtesy of NextGenWeb.org.