Verizon told the Federal Communications Commission yesterday that it has no right to regulate paid interconnection deals like the ones Netflix struck with Verizon and other Internet providers.
Even reclassifying broadband service as a utility or common carrier service will not give the FCC that power, Verizon VP and Associate General Counsel William H. Johnson wrote in a filing in the FCC’s net neutrality proceeding.
“The Commission cannot under any circumstances lawfully impose Title II common-carriage requirements on interconnection, as some regulatory proponents propose. Such requirements apply only to ‘common carriers,’ that is, to telecommunications service providers already ‘engaged as a common carrier for hire,” Johnson wrote, citing US communications law and court precedents. “As the DC Circuit has explained, when a provider is not operating as a common carrier, the Commission cannot ‘relegate’ that provider ‘to common carrier status’ by imposing common-carriage regulation. The Commission does not have ‘unfettered discretion… to confer or not confer common-carrier status on a given entity depending upon the regulatory goals it seeks to achieve.'”
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