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FCC Republican member warns against too many rules, reclassification

Robert McDowell, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, warned against rules in the national broadband plan that could hinder investment in networks.

In the agency’s presentation Tuesday of the far-reaching plan, McDowell noted that cable companies have laid down fiber to 92 percent of most American homes. He also said the agency’s goal of reaching 100 megabits-a-second connections to 100 million homes by 2020 could be reached as long as there aren’t burdensome rules that prevent Internet service providers from doing so.

And he warned against the possibility of reclassifying broadband services as a common carrier service, placing it more clearly under the FCC’s authority.

“As result of deregulation, fiber deployment has spiked,” McDowell said. “Rather than reverse course, the commission should ensure that any future actions would not create regulatory uncertainty and litigation risks that could scare away capital investments.”

By Cecilia Kang  |  March 16, 2010; 11:58 AM ET
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