Just as the FCC puts the final touches on its new net neutrality rules that it plans to issue in February, a group of Republicans have put together their own bill that claims to ensure the openness of the Internet while not permitting the agency to reclassify broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act.
Republicans in Congress on Friday introduced legislation that would enshrine into law many net neutrality rules but that would also stop the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. The proposed bills, while a reversal from Republicans' longstanding opposition to net neutrality rules, are being seen as a way to pre-empt even tougher regulations the FCC is likely to vote on at the end of February.
While providing comments on how the FCC should treat the use of spectrum bands above 24 GHz, interested parties also shared their visions for 5G--everything from M2M to robots and drones.
A lot of the comments filed on the FCC's Notice of Inquiry (NOI) into the use of spectrum bands above 24 GHz were positive, praising the commission for launching the proceeding to investigate potential opportunities for using millimeter wave (mmW) bands to accelerate 5G services. But many interested parties are calling for caution as well, especially when it comes to framing rules around the use of the mmW bands.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wants to know why Netflix isn't getting back to him on details about encryption protocols it is allegedly using to target the open caching servers of certain large Internet service providers.
AT&T officially closed its $2.5 billion purchase of No. 3 Mexican carrier Iusacell from Grupo Salinas. AT&T named company veteran F. Thaddeus Arroyo as CEO of Iusacell following the close of the deal.
In explaining its position on the FCC's forthcoming net neutrality rules, Sprint argues that it does not matter whether the commission reclassifies broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, as long as mobile broadband is given a great deal of flexibility. That is a split with CTIA and much of the telecommunications industry, which has fiercely opposed a Title II reclassification, arguing it will harm investment.
The FCC plans to vote in February on petitions filed by Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C., over whether they should repeal state laws that either prohibit or limit a city or town's ability to build their own broadband networks, but it's clear that the commission's stance on the proposal is anything but equal.
The FCC's AWS-3 spectrum auction is nearing the bitter end, with total provisional winning bids topping $44.68 billion and unlikely to go much higher. Now, attention is turning to what will happen once the auction officially closes--and how carriers will come up with the money to cover their bids.
Cable industry representatives responded pungently Wednesday to remarks made by President Barak Obama, who asked for the repeal of laws restricting towns and cities from setting up their own broadband networks.