Top Verizon lobbyist tells Congress to assert authority over FCC

Tauke argues that reclassifying broadband as a “Title II” communications service will not work because those rules were written for a the common-carrier telephone industry.

“Trying to fit what we’re doing today into a structure that was intended for a 1900s industry just doesn’t make sense in my mind,” he said.

Public interest groups immediately fired back at Tauke’s assertions, saying the FCC already has the authority to craft meaningful safeguards for broadband consumers and is much closer to doing so than Congress is.

“He argues the Title II rules are old, but so is the Constitution. Does that mean we throw those ideas out the window?” asked Matthew Wood, associate director of Media Access Project.

Tauke also questioned whether the FCC should be agency in charge of overseeing broadband-related matters.

“Some would prefer to have it at the Federal Trade Commission,” he said. “I don’t think the agency at this juncture is important. What’s important is what is the policy and what is the process for enforcing that policy.”

If the authority remains with the FCC, Tauke thinks the agency should take a more flexible, case-by-case rulemaking approach that “would be better suited to the Internet ecosystem than setting out rules by which you try to anticipate the market place 5 to 6 years from now.”

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