Feb 9, 2018 9:45:00 AM
Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to determine and report annually on “whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” The Commission began this year's determination last August when it released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) in Docket 17-199. That NOI received a tremendous amount of negative industry attention when the Commission made three controversial proposals:
First, the Commission proposed to make the availability of either fixed or mobile broadband in an area sufficient to meet the requirement that broadband is available;
Second, the Commission proposed to continue the current speed benchmark of 25 Mbps download, 3 Mbps upload (25 Mbps/3 Mbps) for fixed broadband, while establishing for the first time a mobile speed benchmark of 10 Mbps/1 Mbps.
Topics: CCMI, FCC, ISPs, CRA, Open Internet, congress, congressional review, commissions order, internet freedom order, internet freedom, Broadband, broadband deployment advisory committee, wireless broadband, broadband report, telecommunications act, broadband deployment
Feb 2, 2018 9:44:00 AM
In a recent CCMI webinar I stated that the worst possible outcome for Internet regulation for the country would be for each of the 50 states to legislate their own net neutrality rules in opposition to the FCC's Internet Freedom Order, while Congress sits on its hands and does nothing. Unfortunately, more and more, that seems to be the likely outcome.
Already, within the last couple of weeks, 21 states and the District of Columbia have appealed the Order to the Federal courts while New York and Montana have introduced bills that would bar state agencies from contracted with ISPs unless they agreed to comply with the "bright line" net neutrality rules.
While it could be argued that the proposed legislation in those states does not directly challenge the Commission's Order (I'm sure the FCC thinks otherwise), the same cannot be said about the bill recently passed by the California Senate. SB-460, contains provisions that directly conflict with the Commission's removal of the bright line rules.
Topics: CCMI, FCC, Net Neutrality, net neutrality order, internet freedom order, trump, ISPs, CRA, internet freedom, internet regulation, Open Internet, SB-460, california, california senate, congress, congressional review, supreme court, commissions order
Jan 19, 2018 10:00:00 AM
That didn't take long! The FCC's January 4, 2018 Internet Freedom Order is under attack weeks before it takes effect and even before it is printed in the Federal Register. Senate Democrats launched the first barrage earlier this week when they announced they had 50 Senators, 49 Democrats and Republican Susan Collins of Maine to vote to overturn the Order using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
The Congressional Review Act empowers Congress, by means of a simple majority vote, to remove new federal regulations issued by government agencies and ensure that a similar rule cannot be enacted in the future. When Donald Trump became President, Republicans used the CRA to overturn a flurry of rules created by the FCC in the last few months of the Obama administration, including one-sided privacy rules that would apply to ISPs but not edge providers. Under the CRA, Congress has 60 legislative days (i.e., actual days Congress is in session) to overturn the Internet Freedom Order.
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."
Nov 10, 2017 10:00:00 AM
In less than two weeks the FCC is expected to make public its highly anticipated Net Neutrality Order in which it is expected to both reclassify broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a Title I information service and eliminate most if not all of the existing net neutrality rules. ISPs are ready to rejoice. They have spent the last two years loathing and trying to overturn the strict rules established in 2015 and are finally about to get their wish. They face one problem however, many state commissions are poised to write their own net neutrality rules, many potentially in conflict with the upcoming Order. This is especially true in states led by Democrats who are adamantly opposed to any changes to the existing rules.
Oct 6, 2017 10:00:00 AM
As we enter the baseball playoffs, ISPs are covering all their bases in their efforts to overturn the FCC's 2015 Open Internet (Net Neutrality) Order. On September 28, 2017, AT&T, USTelecom and CenturyLink filed petitions with the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting the High Court to overturn the decisions of the DC Circuit Appeals in which a panel of judges supported the 2015 Open Internet Order and then refused to let the case be reheard by the entire Court. In legal terms, the Petitioners filed a "Writ of Certiorari."
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.