CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Frontier Communications and TDS, three telcos that have a long heritage of serving Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets, are taking diverging paths on what they think about the FCC‘s passing of new rules to reclassify broadband service under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act and Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
Serving as the third largest ILEC that serves a mix of both large metros down to rural markets, CenturyLink has taken a similar stance as its larger ILEC brothers AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ), saying that the new order could have achieved its goals without a new source of regulation.
“CenturyLink is very concerned about the impact of regulating the Internet as a utility under a 1930s regulatory regime that has no place in the 21st century economy,” said Steve Davis, EVP for public policy and government relations for CenturyLink, in a prepared statement. “We agree with the basic principles of an open Internet and believe the FCC could have prohibited the blocking or degrading of lawful content—something CenturyLink has never done—without stifling innovation.”
Davis added that they will “work with Congress to pass net neutrality legislation that protects consumers and doesn’t smother the growth engine of our economy with obsolete regulations.”