Sprint’s announcement that it now supports net neutrality came as a surprise to most today. The letter from Sprint shows the mess the ISPs are in. They no longer stand united on this heated topic. Here is the key passage from the letter by Sprint to FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler:
So long as the FCC continues to allow wireless carriers to manage our networks and differentiate our products, Sprint will continue to invest in data networks regardless of whether they are regulated by Title II, Section 706, or some other light touch regulatory regime.
This new rhetoric by Sprint is in strong contrast to its’ longing standing position that Title II would hinder innovation, investments in internet service, and damage the economy.Back in October 2013 then Sprint CEO Dan Hesse had these thoughts on an open network:
[Wireless spectrum] it is a finite resource … but again I’m a carrier guy so it’s hard for me to even understand, it truly is and I’ve been looking at “Net Neutrality” for a long time. It’s actually a hard concept for me to get my head around. It’s like telling the airlines you can’t sell first class seats.
In a letter sent to the FCC on Thursday, Sprint Chief Technology Officer Stephen Bye wrote that the company “does not believe that a light touch application of Title II … would harm the continued investment in, and deployment of, mobile broadband services.”
Sprint’s new game plan is in opposition to not only Verizon and AT&T, but T-Mobile CEO John Legere who posted a tweet saying that that Title II qualifies as “heavy” regulation, and is a push by republicans in congress to bar the FCC from making use of it. John Bergmayer of PublicKnowledge.org applauded the letter, saying “Sprint has shown enormous courage by daring to say openly in Washington what every other major carrier has admitted on Wall Street.” The FCC is scheduled to vote on new rules February 26 2015.