NCTA buys full-page WaPo ad supporting open internet, just as FCC looks to dismantle open internet rules

NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell

Attempting to thread the PR needle on the newly reconfigured FCC decision to reverse internet regulation, the NCTA took out a full-page ad in the Washington Post, attempting to make it clear that it actually supports an open internet, just not the rules the agency is about to abolish. 

“An open internet means that we do not block, throttle or otherwise impair your online activity. We firmly stand by that commitment because it is good for our customers and good for our business,” reads the ad, which listed the major NCTA-represented cable companies, along with American Cable Association constituents such as Midco, RCN Grande and TDS, among others. 

RELATED: Cable’s deregulatory Christmas continues: Comcast, NCTA, others rejoice over likely Title II rollback

The FCC, now under the deregulatory watch of Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, is expected to reverse Title II internet regulations established in 2015 when the agency commission meets Thursday

The NCTA and ACA have been major supporters of Pai’s decision to reverse Title II, claiming the rules are too restrictive. With the issue becoming a matter of consumer backlash, cable’s special interest groups are trying to walk a fine line.

RELATED: NCTA survey: 61% of Americans support ‘net neutrality’

“One of the many things that this raging debate obscures is that there is substantial agreement on basic principles of behavior that promote an open internet experience for consumers,” said NCTA in a blog post explaining its WaPo ad.

“In general, consumers are and should be in charge of the internet experience,” NCTA added. “So long as their conduct is lawful and subject to a provider’s reasonable network management, internet users should have the freedom to go anywhere on the internet or to run any application with confidence that the delivery of traffic will not be blocked or throttled. That idea sits at the foundation of internet services, reflects how consumers enjoy the internet today, and despite claims to the contrary, has never truly been in jeopardy.”