Call it a cautious win for the online video industry: After a commission meeting marked by strenuous dissent from its Republican commissioners, the FCC voted 3-2 to adopt net neutrality rules that classify broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
As widely expected, the FCC voted 3-2 across party lines Thursday to codify strident regulation on Internet service providers, regulating them as a public utility for the first time.
The FCC moved to preempt elements of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that were designed to restrict municipal providers in these communities from providing broadband service outside of their current serving areas, a move that could drive other states to act, as well as potential court challenges.
WASHINGTON--The FCC voted, 3-2, to codify new net neutrality regulations for wireless and wireline networks that would bar blocking and throttling of content and ban carriers and ISPs from striking deals with content companies to zip their content faster to consumers. In doing so, the FCC is reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, instead of a lightly-regulated information service, a move that carriers and ISPs have said will stifle innovation.
The FCC's order to protect the open Internet carries with it implications for the Internet of Things (IoT), even though the immediate impact might not be felt for quite some time.
They had it comin'. After years of failing to provide data usage alerts to customers and being unclear about throttling policies, wireless companies will deserve it Thursday when the FCC votes to codify new net neutrality rules. In his latest column, FierceWireless ' Phil Goldstein sidesteps the debate as to whether the FCC legally can reclassify mobile broadband and delves into the issue of what it means to carriers.
It looks as though FCC Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel are not interested in letting the automobile industry indefinitely hold onto spectrum set aside for roadway safety.
A coalition of public interest groups urged the FCC to adopt a spectrum reserve of at least 40 MHz for the 600 MHz incentive auction, one of several rule changes they are suggesting aimed at helping smaller carriers acquire spectrum. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and his fellow commissioners, the groups said that the AWS-3 auction strengthened the position of AT&T and Verizon Wireless and that, now, smaller carriers need a leg up to compete. The groups also want the FCC to move quickly to free up the 3.5 GHz band for mobile broadband.
I think wireless carriers need more oversight than they have had--they deserve it after years of failing to provide data usage alerts and being unclear on throttling policies, among other harms to consumers. And wireless customers need protections than they have been afforded in the past. But I don't think the FCC should be playing traffic cop (no pun intended) with carriers' business models.
The FCC is set to vote on final net neutrality rules on Feb. 26, and T-Mobile US and the CTIA are urging the agency to give wireless carriers a great deal of flexibility in designing new service plans and business models.