Optic fiber (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This week Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler plans to seize regulatory control over the Internet by declaring private broadband carriers to be public utilities. Less well known is that he also wants to usurp state authority to regulate municipal broadband networks.
Local governments are forever seeking opportunities to diversify their, er, investments in sports stadiums, convention centers and such. Many lately have been getting into broadband. Municipalities have built some 180 fiber-optic networks in addition to about 75 cable services. Most operate as de facto public utilities with an implicit, if not explicit, taxpayer backstop. Continue reading
Some of the municipal broadband nets the Obama administration is keen on giving a boost have asked the Federal Communications Commission not to apply Title II regulations for a start.
In a Feb. 10 letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, more than three dozen of those said the balance of power is in favor of the edge providers, like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, which are not subject to the new rules beyond being able to complain about the conduct of Internet service providers, not smaller operators. Continue reading
Top Republicans in Congress plan to introduce legislation that they say will ensure net neutrality protections for Internet users and will spur U.S. economic growth.
The proposal would create “unambiguous” rules prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or throttling Web traffic, while avoiding a reclassification of broadband as a regulated public utility, said a Wednesday blog post at Reuters.com by Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, and U.S. Rep Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican. Continue reading
Seal of the United States Federal Communications Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A flurry of activity will follow the plan from U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to reclassify broadband as a regulated public utility as the foundation for new net neutrality rules.
Wheeler’s plan would reclassify broadband from a lightly regulated information service to a more regulated telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, reversing the FCC’s broadband policy for the past decade. Still, Wheeler’s plan has the agency forbearing from most traditional telecom regulations under Title II, including rate regulations, contributions to the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, and requirements to share their networks with competitors. Continue reading
Republicans aren’t happy with the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to regulate the Internet like telephone service, and they’re going out of their way to make sure people know it.
The FCC commissioners (left to right): Ajit Pai, Mignon Clyburn, Tom Wheeler (chairman), Jessica Rosenworcel, and Michael O’Rielly.
The latest broadside comes from within the FCC itself, with Republican commissioner Ajit Pai using a press conference Tuesday to lay into Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal onNet neutrality, or the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. Pai argues that the proposed new regulations would give the government too much power over the Internet.
net neutrality world logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is something that needs to go viral.
Today, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement on Obama’s Net Neutrality plan to regulate the internet and blasted Obama for not releasing the plan publicly.
Last night, Chairman Wheeler provided his fellow Commissioners with President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet. I am disappointed that the plan will not be released publicly. The FCC should be as open and transparent as the Internet itself and post the entire document on its website. Instead, it looks like the FCC will have to pass the President’s plan before the American people will be able to find out what’s really in it.
Blair’s opinion piece generally supports competition as opposed to more regulation as proposed by FCC Chairman Wheeler. While he has the facts to make a case that more regulation stifles innovation and cements the incumbents market position, he does not fully utilize them to make a strong case against Title II regulation. Instead he uses this opportunity to support municipal broadband and his Gig.U organization. Still I am delighted that re/code published is opinion article against more regulation because they have been a strong supporter of Title II regulation.
By Blair Levin, Executive Director, Gig.U
On Feb. 26, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to regulate broadband under Title II and challenge two state laws constraining municipal broadband deployment efforts. Progressives, longtime advocates of both actions, owe a huge “thanks” to Verizon. Its legal challenge to earlier, weaker FCC rules opened the door to the reclassification and a footnote in the court decision provided a path for the FCC to champion municipal broadband, a valuable lesson for all considering responding to adverse agency decisions. Continue reading