California ISPs Annoyed

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California ISPs Annoyed

FCC Ruling on DSL Re-Monopolizes Phone Networks Says California ISPs
SACRAMENTO, CA (PRWEB) August 8, 2005 -- The California ISP Association (CISPA), the largest state association of Internet service providers, reacted today to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's ruling today that high-speed DSL Internet lines should be classified as an "information service" instead of a telecommunications service. The ruling would allow large phone companies to close their DSL networks and exclude independent ISP's from the DSL market. The result is that most ISPs would be eliminated from the broadband market.

"The FCC's version of what it calls "deregulation" is simply just a re-monopolization of a network that has been publicly regulated and paid for by rate payers for more than 100 years. This is not leveling the DSL playing field. The FCC is putting a fence around the playing field and giving the keys to a few phone companies with armies of paid lobbyists, letting the phone companies decide who can play in the broadband game.

Consumers and businesses need and deserve the choice they enjoy today. But the FCC's ruling will take away their right to choose broadband providers and services," says Dane Jasper, President, California ISP Association.

"Today's FCC decision will effectively eliminate the benefits of competition for millions of Americans. The FCC essentially turns control of Internet access over to a handful of phone companies and cable companies. Existing law requires the FCC to regulate communications services in the public interest, which means protecting consumers, encouraging economic development, and ensuring that competition is allowed to develop. Instead, the FCC has shirked its responsibility, allowing phone companies to put out of business the very companies who drive innovation in the Internet," says Mehrdad Saberi, Chairman, California ISP Association

"In 2002, President Bush signed Executive Order 13272, requiring federal agencies to implement policies protecting small businesses when writing new rules and regulations. President Bush's own Small Business Agenda states that every new business starts with an idea for a better product or process, which has been the driving force of Internet innovation. Not a single innovation related to the Internet has come from the former Bell phone companies. In fact, when DSL was being launched by other smaller companies, the Bells continued to insist that DSL would threaten the quality of voice calls."

"Innovation becomes reality only when confident entrepreneurs are willing to take economic risks and ISPs have taken this risk -- to the betterment of the entire economy. Phone and cable companies were not even pioneers in the Internet but they now seek to control access to it. Small businesses are the heart of the American economy because they drive innovation. In fact, new firms are established on the very premise that they can do a better job and recognize that a one-size-fits all approach is not good for business and innovation."

"A few legacy carriers cannot continue to benefit from valuable government grants and licenses, including the use of public rights-of-way, and be allowed to extend those rights in a way that bars ISPs from offering their service to the public."

"The FCC is entrusted with protecting consumers, encouraging economic development, and ensuring that competition is allowed to develop, rather than being quashed by a de-regulated monopoly. Already, we are seeing the Bells move to increase prices, and without regulation, small business will be harmed, thousands of ISPs will be forced out business, highly-skilled workers will lose their jobs and consumers will lose the choice of platform for broadband services and support."

"Deregulation will be bad for America and CISPA strongly discourage any attempt to turn over control of this nations broadband development to the phone and cable companies. The FCC will sacrifice many small businesses, consumer choice, and any hope of catching up with our foreign counterparts!" says Mark Esser, VP Board of Directors, California ISP Association

About CISPA
The California ISP Association, Inc. (www.cispa.org) has more than 100 independent ISP members representing more than 3 million California consumers and businesses. Advocating for the interests of ISPs and their customers since 2000, CISPA provides a unified voice to address legislative, regulatory and consumer issues as well as to support innovation within the ISP industry.

For more information Contact:
Mike Jackman
Executive Director
California ISP Association
415-388-3216



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