It looks like telecoms are starting to give up the battle against net neutrality, with AT&T and Verizon claiming earlier this month that network management can be covered under Title II ‘common carrier’ practices, even though the law is currently not in place.
Sprint has joined the debate, throwing its hat publicly in support of stronger net neutrality laws, as long as these laws do not affect network management.
The move gives Sprint free press, showing it is willing to side with the consumers rather than telecoms. It also puts T-Mobile’s savior John Legere in the spotlight, currently opposed to Title II reclassification.
Even though Sprint does not mention T-Mobile, ever since CEO Marcelo Claure took over Sprint, he has been fighting to win back Sprint’s reputation for pro-consumer ideas and plans.
Sprint has little to lose by supporting Title II reclassification on broadband providers, since it does not actively own a broadband company. However, the company may be less inclined to support net neutrality when it hits wireless networks.
Verizon and AT&T both have large investments in broadband, and Deutsche Telekom has various broadband investments worldwide, which could be effected by Title II reclassification.
Title II reclassification focuses on making broadband companies a utility, putting them in the same group as telephone companies. It allows more legislation control over broadband, reducing risk of companies implementing new revenue generators on the internet.
One of these revenue ideas concerned a “fast-lane”, which would allow priority service on the internet. Verizon originally pushed this discussion, and is now being burned for it.
The FCC will make its net neutrality decision known in February, but before that the Republican party will push its own net neutrality legislation into Congress, hoping to catch the FCC early.
Source: Sprint Letter to FCC