Netflix “probably not” pleased with Internet reclassification under Title II

Netflix “probably not” pleased with Internet reclassification under Title II

Within days of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s 3-2 vote in favor of Net Neutrality on February 26, streaming provider Netflix has apparently backpedaled on its earlier stance of "relishing" its role as one of the main lobbyists for Net Neutrality.

The Net Neutrality proposal – or the Open Internet Order – was put forth by the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. The proposal underscored a move to reclassify the Internet as a ‘public utility’ under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

The Internet reclassification move was being enthusiastically pushed by Netflix last June, but the company has now seemingly backtracked on its previous position; thereby showing signs of what has been termed as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) as “lobbyist’s remorse.”

According to a WSJ report, Netflix Chief Financial Officer David Wells said in a last week statement that Netflix was “probably not” pleased that Internet has been “pushed to Title II.” In his statement, made at the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference last week, Wells said: “We were hoping there might be a non-regulated solution.”

The recent statement made by Wells marks a shift in Netflix’s stance on Net Neutrality. When the company as backing the proposal of Internet reclassification under Title II in June last year, Netflix had – as per a Variety report – said in a court filing that Title II will give the FCC “a solid basis to adopt prohibitions on blocking and unreasonable discrimination by ISPs;” and had also added: “Opposition to Title II is largely political, not legal.”