BEND, OR -- With the rolling back of the Net Neutrality regulations by the FCC, Bend Broadband is returning to the level of oversight that was the norm 18 months ago.
Drew Petersen, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs for TDS Telecom, which is Bend Broadband's parent company, says fewer regulations means there's more opportunity to invest in the local community, because better infrastructure makes for better service. "Our goal, as an Internet service provider, is to be the fastest, most unfettered Internet service provider we can, and we strongly believe in a free and open Internet, and market dynamics and competition for service is always going to prevail, and we can't, frankly, afford to stifle a customer their ability to visit any Internet site that's lawful, and nor would we want to."
Petersen says returning to pre-Net Neutrality levels of regulation in no way means there aren't standards that must be met, and Bend Broadband, as a cable company, must comply with those standards at every level. "We think that 'Lighter Touch' regulation is excellent, and I would dispel the notion that we're not going to be regulated, the Federal trade Commission is going to continue to regulate us and has for years and will continue to have that 'Top Cop' responsibility, and we're also regulated at the state and local levels, so make no mistake: there's no shortage of regulation in the communications business."
According to Petersen, Net Neutrality level regulation didn't actually make the Internet faster or more easily accessed than it already was. "We're going back to a regulatory climate that was only 18 months ago changed, and nothing slowed the progress and the innovation from the Internet ecosystem prior to that, and I don't have any expectation that it will once we go back to these regulations that governed us, really from the inception of the Internet in1998."
Petersen says individual companies investing in local infrastructure makes the Internet more accessible and user-friendly, and having fewer regulations helps make that possible.