News - October 27, 2020

INCOMPAS on Net Neutrality Repeal’s Impact on Broadband Deployment and Public Safety During a Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 27, 2020) – The FCC voted an Order today on issues that were remanded by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, directing the Commission to clarify and address the impact eliminating net neutrality protections have on pole attachments, public safety and Lifeline.

In response, Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS released the following statement:

“Access to broadband has never been more critical and essential. Net neutrality gives confidence to families, first responders and markets that internet, video streaming and cloud driven services they depend on in times of need will not be blocked, throttled or hit with extra fees.

“Today, Americans have no guarantee that critical communications over broadband will be delivered since net neutrality was repealed, and they are already paying the price. Without oversight, large ISPs have imposed data caps that have raised prices on consumers during the pandemic. Moreover, large ISPs have responded to the net neutrality changes they demanded by firing workers, cutting broadband services and accumulated record levels of debt.

“Without net neutrality, these large ISPs have a monopoly meal ticket to charge new interconnection fees on start-ups, streaming services and small businesses who are struggling to recover. 

“INCOMPAS’ members continue to deploy new networks to bring an alternative to the large ISPs; however, they cannot access poles and conduit unless they provide a Title II telecommunications or a Title VI cable service. Broadband-only providers should not be forced to offer a service merely to gain deployment rights—especially when consumers are pleading for more broadband competition – as the law demands. INCOMPAS has called for policymakers to extend deployment protections for competitive broadband providers in our Broadband Blueprint paper.

“Over 80% of Americans, Republicans and Democrats, want net neutrality on the books because they know how critical it is for families and Main Street businesses who are on the path to recovery and can’t afford to run into an ISP road block.”