Open Internet Order Preview: Chairman Wheeler Offers a Glimpse into His Draft Proposal
On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a fact sheet on Chairman Wheeler’s imminent Open Internet proposal.
The draft rules would reclassify “broadband Internet access service” as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, and would rely on Title II and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to implement a series of new rules equally on wireline and wireless broadband providers.
The proposed regulations would explicitly prohibit broadband providers from:
- blocking access to legal content, applications, or services;
- throttling (i.e., impairing or degrading) lawful Internet traffic; and
- paid prioritization (i.e., no “fast lanes”).
The proposal would only selectively apply provisions of Title II to broadband providers, including:
- prohibiting “unjust and unreasonable” practices (Sections 201-202);
- investigation of consumer complaints (Sections 206-209, 216-217);
- consumer privacy protections (Section 222);
- fair access to poles and conduits (Section 224);
- protections for people with disabilities (Sections 225 and 255); and
- universal service fund support for broadband (Section 254).
- rate regulation, tariffs, or other forms of unbundling or rate approval;
- obligation to contribute to the Universal Service Fund; and
- the imposition of new fees or taxes.
Stay tuned for more information and analysis from the Kelley Drye Communications team about this important change in U.S. telecommunications regulation.