The wireless industry’s lobbyists are keen to influence policy makers in Washington on a number of key issues – most notably net neutrality. CTIA, which represents the country’s biggest wireless carriers, is the organization flexing its muscle with the help of front man, former Oklahoma congressman and Hall of Fame NFL wide receiver, Steve Largent.
In an interview with C|Net, Steve Largent, along with Chris Guttman-McCabe, talked about how the members of its group feel about net neutrality. Of course, no one will be surprised on how they feel about: they think it’s a bad idea. When asked why wireless be treated differently than any other kind of broadband service, Guttman-McCabe and Largent responded with the following:
Guttman-McCabe: Not necessarily. There have always been instances in communications regulation where services are regulated differently. If you look at wireline and wireless networks, they are regulated differently. Satellite is regulated differently. Cable is treated different from broadcast TV and the list goes on.
Largent: The real difference is that wireless has spectrum constraints. So it must be treated differently. I mean you look at the usage of wireless service and smartphones and there are already constraints in some markets like New York City and San Francisco. There have already been a lot of complaints in those places.
When asked about what his group has been hearing from the FCC on plans to reclassify wireless alongside broadband internet, Largent said that he has been "getting mixed signals" but expects that it will in fact be reclassified and subject to the net neutrality regulations.
Finally, Largent said that Net Neutrality is not good for anyone:
Largent: We don’t think Net neutrality regulations should apply to anybody. And we definitely don’t think they should apply to the wireless industry. So we’re working to educate the commission about that.
You can read the full interview on C|Net.