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TIA Submits Company Letter to California Public Utilities Commission Cautioning Against Title II Reclassification

Arlington, VA (September 11, 2014) – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, submitted for the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) record the letter from 33 leading technology companies sent on September 9 to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

This letter was from a diverse group of technology manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech equipment warning that classifying the Internet as a public utility would have harmful implications for the Internet and the broader national economy.

The companies say that investment in broadband networks and equipment has flourished under the current light regulatory approach. Infrastructure equipment spending by businesses is expected to grow from $38.6 billion in 2013 to $42.9 billion in 2017. The companies make the case that this investment in the American economy will be jeopardized if Internet access is classified as a public utility under Title II, a move they write would "threaten demand for Internet infrastructure, reduce incentives for investment, hinder innovation and jeopardize this success."

The 33 companies go on to state, "A sudden shift from the existing light-touch approach – which has been an unqualified success and the basis for billions of dollars in investments – to the prescriptive regime of Title II would be extremely disruptive to the broadband marketplace. Resources that would normally be spent on building and improving infrastructure would instead be spent complying with burdensome regulatory obligations, and uncertainty regarding future profitability would deter additional private investments. If investment in broadband services declines, it will set off a domino effect of decreased investment and innovation…"

The CPUC is scheduled to hold a Business Meeting today, September 11, to discuss the CPUC staff recommendation advocating the reliance on §706 and Title II, which is the reclassification of the transport component of broadband access service as a telecommunications service.

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About TIA

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents manufacturers and suppliers of global communications networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org for more details.

TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is a proud sponsor of ANSI’s Standards Boost Business campaign. Visit www.standardsboostbusiness.org  for details.

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