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Is the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Inquiry a Sham?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Aug 18, 2017 10:00:00 AM

I’m done giving the FCC the benefit of the doubt. Because of the many years I spent dealing with the ambiguity and costs of Title II, I defended Chairman Pai and company when they sought to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a Title I information service in the net neutrality proceeding, although I have my qualms about eliminating the Internet bright line rules.

I never questioned the Commission’s motives when it proposed eliminating some of the restrictions on the pricing of ILEC special access services, although the competitive market test it used to justify deregulation cannot be taken seriously.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, Broadband

The FCC’s Net Neutrality Comments: Don’t Read Them!

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 21, 2017 10:00:00 AM

It is summertime and I am sure that most of you would rather spend your free time outside rather than reading the thousands of industry comments filed this week regarding the FCC’s proposed Restoring Internet Freedom Order. Here’s the deal, go outside!

Like actors playing their assigned roles, each major industry participant filed predictable comments that could have been written easily by a computer. The only difference between these comments and ones these companies previously filed is this time, each side of the net neutrality argument spent big bucks to hire economic experts to (surprise!) parrot their well-known positions.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

Will “Bright-Line” Net Neutrality Rules Be Eliminated?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

May 19, 2017 10:00:00 AM

By a 2-1 party line vote yesterday, the FCC voted to approve a Notice of Approved Rulemaking (NPRM) that will substantially remake regulations for the Internet. Although in theory the Commission has an open mind when it begins a new proceeding, in this Docket (17-108) it is no secret that the two Republican Commissioners plan on using their majority to reclassify broadband Internet access as a Title I information service and do away with the vague rule providing it with authority to regulate all ISP future Internet behavior.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

Pai Launches New Effort to Kill Title II Internet Regulation

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 28, 2017 10:00:00 AM

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai this week began his long expected effort to repeal and replace the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order which classified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a Title II telecommunications service and required all Internet traffic to be treated equally. According to Pai, the Commission will vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at its May 18, 2017 meeting and will begin accepting industry comments on July 17, 2017. An order could be issued late this year. The goals of the NPRM are to reclassify BIAS as a Title I information service and develop rules to regulate the Internet going forward with a “light touch.”

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

The End of Net Neutrality: Catastrophe or Godsend?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Apr 21, 2017 10:00:00 AM

While perusing the latest FCC filings and news stories trying to decide what to write about this week, I couldn’t help but notice that so many are already characterizing the Commission’s upcoming review of the 2015 Open Internet Order (widely known as the Net Neutrality Order) in apocalyptic terms. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

The Battle Lines over Internet Privacy and Net Neutrality are Joined

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, ISPs, privacy

Please Congress, Don’t Make Us Beg, “Fix” Net Neutrality Now!

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Feb 17, 2017 10:00:00 AM

It should be readily apparent to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that it will be a long and difficult climb for the Commission to “fix” it’s Open Internet Order, primarily by reclassifying broadband Internet access as an information service.  To succeed, the Commission will have to reopen its proceeding (Docket 14-28), accept industry comments and reply comments, write and release a new order, and craft a legal defense for reclassification that would pass the inevitable court appeals.  In addition, the agency will have to withstand a public relations assault that would almost certainly include an avalanche of consumer letters, speeches from Democratic politicians and scathing newspaper editorials, all convinced that the FCC is killing net neutrality. Even if Pai wins, it will be an ugly battle that will leave the Commission and the Chairman scarred for the remainder of his term.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality

New FCC Already Slashing Obama-Era Regulations

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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.  

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, ISPs, privacy

Suddenly Confident Internet Service Providers Issue Their “Privacy Principles”

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, ISPs, privacy

Regulations Beware, It’s Pai Time at the FCC!

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jan 27, 2017 10:00:00 AM

When the FCC released its Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order in March of 2015, then Commissioner Ajit Pai wrote the following:

On November 10, President Obama asked the FCC to implement his plan for regulating the Internet, one that favors government regulation over marketplace competition. As has been widely reported in the press, the FCC has been scrambling ever since to figure out a way to do just that. The courts will ultimately decide this Order’s fate. And I doubt they will countenance this unlawful power grab. Litigants are already lawyering up to seek judicial review of these new rules. Given the Order’s many glaring legal flaws, they will have plenty of fodder. But if this Order manages to survive judicial review, these will be the consequences: higher broadband prices, slower speeds, less broadband deployment, less innovation, and fewer options for American consumers. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet isn’t the solution to a problem. His plan is the problem. In short, because this Order imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have, I dissent. (FCC Docket 14-28, Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling and Order, released March 12, 2015, Dissent of Ajit Pai, at. p. 1).

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, trump

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