Mar 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM
A year from now, we will almost surely be able to look back at this week and proclaim that the newest regulatory battle over the Internet began in earnest. Here’s why we view this week as so important.
Republicans introduced legislation to ensure that ISPs do not face more stringent privacy rules than edge providers, while more than 170 consumer advocate groups sent letters to the FCC imploring the agency to keep the net neutrality and privacy rules in place. For his part, President Trump ensured the Internet battle would rage by re-nominating FCC Chairman Alit Pai to a new five year term as an FCC commissioner, locking in the chief advocate of limited Internet regulation as FCC Chairman for the entire term of the Trump administration.
Mar 3, 2017 10:00:00 AM
To the surprise of almost no one but to the consternation of many, the FCC partially stayed the previous FCC’s 2016 ISP privacy Order, scheduled to take effect on March 2, 2017. Specifically, the Commission stayed the portion of the Order, requiring ISPs to obtain consumer consent before using precise geo-location, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.
Feb 24, 2017 10:00:00 AM
The election of Donald Trump was a heavy blow to CLECs and smaller ISPs. Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had been a kindred spirit they could turn to reliably create regulations almost on an as needed basis. That empathy for competitive carriers has almost certainly been lost under the auspices of new Chairman Ajit Pai. But independent carriers are not going away and certainly are going to pressure the new Commission to respond to their concerns. That was made clear in a February 13th letter from the association INCOMPAS to Chairman Pai detailing the steps competitive carriers want the FCC to take to better enable broadband deployment.
Feb 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM
For anyone observing the FCC during the Obama administration, it was abundantly clear that ex-Chairman Tom Wheeler and current Chairman Ajit Pai radically disagreed about the need for regulations designed to protect consumers. Wheeler was a staunch proponent for such regulations, especially those in which companies such as ISPs utilized consumer data as part of their day-to-day operations. Thus, his FCC promulgated strict net neutrality and Internet privacy rules and had little appetite for services such as zero-rated data offerings that appeared to favor certain content over others.
Feb 3, 2017 10:00:00 AM
New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai tried to calm panicked consumer advocates this week when he announced that he had not decided what, if anything, the Commission planned on doing about net neutrality. Pai stated that he is opposed to the current Title II common carrier classification for ISPs, but would study the issue further. This inaction makes sense since Pai is waiting to see if Congress can quickly “fix” net neutrality before the FCC is forced to address it again in a lengthy proceeding.
Jan 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM
It is not even Inauguration Day, but the open season on telecom regulations developed during the Tom Wheeler era at the FCC has already begun! On January 3, 2017, several ISP and cable associations including The Internet and Television Association (NCTA) and the US Telecom Association (USTA) filed Petitions for Reconsideration requesting the Commission to significantly modify its November 2, 2016 ISP Privacy Order in Docket 16-106.
Dec 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler may have been stymied by Congress from re-regulating the business data services (BDS) market or from taking other controversial actions in his last days of leading the FCC. However, the Chairman cannot resist one particular issue that has apparently bothered him for a while. That is the issue of Internet zero-rated data services. These are the increasingly popular services provided by ISPs in which certain Internet traffic does not count toward a customer’s overall data cap.
Dec 2, 2016 10:10:31 AM
We have said here many times over the last few years that the FCC was making a serious mistake in jamming rules down the throats of the Republican Commissioners on a partisan 3-2 basis. In doing so, Chairman Wheeler sadly allowed economic principles to take a back seat to fulfilling the promises made by President Obama and the constant complaints of pro-consumer groups.
Oct 28, 2016 10:00:00 AM
On October 27, 2016, in a typically bitter 3-2 decision made along party lines, the FCC adopted new privacy rules for Internet service providers (ISPs) in WC Docket 16-106. The new rules impose stricter privacy rules on ISPs than the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposes on edge (content) providers, but are somewhat less onerous than originally proposed.
Aug 5, 2016 10:30:00 AM
This week’s tale comes to us from the “we have nothing to lose file.” Several industry associations and companies representing Internet service providers (ISPs), wireless carriers and cable companies filed petitions at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on July 29, 2016, seeking an “en banc” rehearing by the full 9-member Court of the FCC’s Open Internet Order which put in place the now famous industry “net neutrality” rules. The request came in response to a June decision by a three-judge panel at the Court which found in a 2-1 decision that the Commission’s net neutrality rules are completely lawful.