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AT&T Mobility CEO on Net Neutrality: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, said Wednesday that net neutrality rules on the table at the FCC could hurt the booming wireless industry.

The comments by de la Vega followed a speech by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at a conference in San Diego by CTIA. Genachowski, in his speech, outlined a plan to promote mobile broadband by getting more spectrum to wireless carriers and removing some regulatory barriers that have slowed down the deployment of broadband networks known as fourth-generation, or 4G, wireless.

Genachowski also said that even with the moves by AT&T and Verizon yesterday toward more open policies, he's still pushing forward on new net neutrality rules for all Internet service providers, including wireless operators.

"Before we begin 'fixing' what isn't broken, we need to be thoughtful about the consequences," de la Vega said in a statement. "We believe the marketplace today is vibrant, and there is no need to burden the mobile Internet with onerous new regulations."

The FCC also is in the middle of a review of competition in the wireless industry. The review seeks to determine whether practices such as exclusive deals between handset manufacturers and carriers undermine competition and negatively impact consumers.

By Cecilia Kang  |  October 7, 2009; 3:19 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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If Genachowski's implication is that it will be easier for carriers to deal with "network neutrality" regulations if they have more spectrum and less expensive backhaul connections, why is he moving to regulate the Internet first and provide those other things second? In fact, if he believes that the lack of spectrum and reasonably priced "special access" are leading carriers to do things that they would not otherwise, why not supply them and make regulation unnecessary?

--Brett Glass

Posted by: squirma | October 8, 2009 5:22 AM

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