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FCC Makes Public Its Plan to Stop Regulating the Internet

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Dec 1, 2017 10:00:00 AM

On the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, the FCC decided to give ISPs an early Christmas present when it made public a draft "Internet Freedom" Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order ("Internet Freedom Order") it intends to vote into law on December 14, 2017.  The Internet Freedom Order would completely overturn the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order and turn over almost all regulatory authority over the Internet to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Here is a summary of the key points of the draft Order and its implications:

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Open Internet, internet regulation, open internet order, federal trade commission, internet freedom

Democrats Now Want Net Neutrality Extended to Internet Content Providers

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Nov 17, 2017 10:00:00 AM

 

Internet edge (content) providers have always been some of the leading advocates for keeping the 2015 Open Internet rules for ISPs in place, including forbidding the blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of Internet traffic. For example, Twitter wrote in a blog post earlier this year that, "[w]ithout net neutrality in force, ISPs would even be able to block content they don't like, reject apps and content that compete with their own offerings, and arbitrarily discriminate against particular content providers by prioritizing certain Internet traffic over theirs."

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, Open Internet, ISPs, internet traffic, net neutrality order

The Commission Adopts Privacy Rules for ISPs

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Open Internet, ISPs

ISPs and Cable Companies Seek Rehearing of Open Internet Order

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

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.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, Open Internet, ISPs

Michael Powell Says Telecommunications is headed for Chaos. Is He Correct?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jun 3, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Current National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and former FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in an interview with CNET last week that the upcoming DC Circuit Court’s decision on the FCC’s Open Internet Order, as well as the 2016 presidential election and possible congressional action, have the potential to soon cause chaos in the telecommunications industry.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Open Internet

Study Adds Fuel to the Fight Over Zero-Rated Internet Services

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

May 27, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Zero-rating services allow a consumer to stream particular Internet content without affecting their overall data cap. These services are becoming increasingly popular as demonstrated last week by Sprint when it joined AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile with its own zero-rating content. Sprint has partnered with FuboTV, a soccer streaming service, to give customers access to every match of the Copa America Centenario soccer tournament if they sign up for a 60-day trial. Data streamed from FuboTV will not count against a customer’s data cap during the tournament.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Open Internet

Net Neutrality is One Year Old But Far From Settled

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Mar 4, 2016 10:00:00 AM

One year ago the FCC approved its Open Internet Order making net neutrality the law of the land. The Commission received plaudits from consumer advocates, some content providers and liberal journalists for ensuring that the Internet would remain open for all forms of traffic.

The sad fact is one year later, however, we have no idea whether the Order was really needed and whether it will still be here one year from today. We do have preliminary evidence that the Open Internet Order has been damaging to broadband investment, added tremendous uncertainty to the industry and clearly led to a more partisan and less effective FCC. 

Let’s review the Open Internet Order at age one.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, Open Internet

Net Neutrality Oral Argument Brings Anxiety to Internet Service Providers

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Dec 11, 2015 9:30:00 AM

After months of anticipation, the FCC’s Open Internet Order finally had its day in court on December 4th, when a three judge panel at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals spent four hours grilling lawyers for both the FCC and Internet service providers (ISPs). The three judges included Sri Srinivasan, an Obama appointee, Stephen Williams, a Reagan appointee and most importantly, David Tatel, a Clinton appointee who wrote the opinions overturning the FCC’s two previous net neutrality orders, and is expected to write this decision. Most industry observers believe that judge Srinivasan will support the Commission’s position, while judge Williams, who is seen as anti-regulation, will support the ISPs. Thus, how judge Tatel rules, should decide the case. 

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Net Neutrality, Open Internet

Commission Rejects Requirement that Internet Edge Providers Honor “Do Not Track” Requests

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Nov 13, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Score one for the FCC! The Commission is not going to control the behavior of Internet edge (content) providers, at least for now. In an Order released on November 6, 2015 in RM-11757, the FCC dismissed a request from Consumer Watchdog that it initiate a rulemaking proceeding requiring Internet edge providers  such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix and LinkedIn to honor “Do Not Track” requests from consumers. The rejection is in line with the Commission’s promises in the Open Internet Order that it would not become the arbiter of all Internet content. However, the Commission did leave the door open to additional regulation pending further rulemaking.

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Open Internet

Is the AT&T-DIRECTV Deal a Precursor to Increased FCC Control of the Internet?

Posted by Andrew Regitsky

Jul 31, 2015 9:30:00 AM

On July 28, 2015, the FCC granted permission for AT&T to acquire DIRECTV and merge the two companies into one combined entity (see FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket 14-90, released July 28, 2015). We will leave it to others to discuss the merits of the deal. However, there are certain aspects that could have significant implications for broadband Internet service providers specifically and Internet regulation in general. That is the issue of whether the Commission, now that it has seized Title II authority over the Internet, will begin to control the pricing of Internet services and, in fact, all Internet behavior?

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Topics: regulatory updates, FCC, Open Internet, Broadband

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