Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
By Lydia Beyoud
Sept. 24 — The Federal Communications Commission must avoid creating different rules for fixed and wireless broadband in its final Open Internet rules, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said at an event in Sacramento, Calif.
Speaking Sept. 24 at a public forum on net neutrality held by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Clyburn said she would focus her efforts in developing permanent rules on how they might impact consumers and how Americans use the Internet, including the “increased reliance on mobile broadband.”
“Mobile broadband looks quite different than it did in 2010, when the FCC adopted different Open Internet rules for mobile versus fixed,” Clyburn said at the forum, which was streamed online.
If different standards are established for fixed versus mobile Internet, the commission must review whether it would disproportionately impact communities that rely primarily on mobile devices for connectivity, she said.
Focusing on the legal issues in the net neutrality debate “puts the cart before the horse,” Clyburn said, adding that she wants to determine the right policy outcomes first and design an “appropriate legal framework” around it.
“As the FCC moves forward to consider permanent rules, my focus will be on the impact on consumers—something that I fear has gotten lost in this debate over 706 versus Title II, and the parsing through each word of the D.C. Circuit's decision,” Clyburn said.
She was referring to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Title II of the Communications Act and Verizon Commc'ns Inc. v. FCC, (D.C. Cir., No. 11-1355, 1/14/14), in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down parts of the FCC's net neutrality rules.
Fellow Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel also spoke at the event, where she underscored her support for net neutrality.
“I believe the FCC must find a way to put Open Internet policies back in place, because we cannot have a two-tiered Internet,” Rosenworcel said in reference to paid-prioritization deals that could be allowed under the commission's proposal (Docket No. 14-28) to re-implement the agency's 2010 Open Internet rules.
Matsui said she strongly opposed the idea of paid prioritization, which she said was a “tax on innovation and consumer choice.”
“The current net neutrality proposal by [FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler] is severely flawed. It would upend a basic principle that has guided the Internet's growth since its inception: all data should be treated equally,” she said.
“I am also hopeful that the chairman's final net neutrality proposal will prevent paid prioritization agreements from entering the marketplace. There is no room in our economy for this sort of anti-competitive practice,” Matsui added.
The FCC's proposal to which Matsui objects would permit Internet service providers such as AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to strike deals with online content companies in return for prioritized service as long as the terms are “commercially reasonable.” The Open Internet notice of proposed rulemaking asks whether such deals should be prohibited.
In June, Matsui and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act (H.R. 4880, S. 2476) to direct the FCC to explicitly prohibit such deals because of the potential harm they pose to the concept of the open Internet.
To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)