Category Archives: Internet

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FCC Chairman Pai Announces Creation of a Broadband Deployment Advisory Council

Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai marked his first open meeting as Chairman by announcing a new Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (Committee), which is intended to advise the FCC on accelerating the deployment of high-speed internet access in communities across the country.  Designed to make recommendations to reduce and remove regulatory barriers … Continue Reading

Pai FCC’s First Commission-Level Vote Targets Rural Broadband Access

On January 26, 2017, in its first action under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) voted to allow the State Of NY to award up to $170 million in Connect America Fund (CAF) fuding to expand broadband access in unserved, rural portions of New York State.  These … Continue Reading

Ajit Pai Selected as Next FCC Chairman

On January 20, 2017, Politico Pro reported that President Trump selected Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as the next permanent FCC Chairman.  According to the report, Commissioner Pai will not need to go through Senate confirmation in order to become Chairman.  Instead, he will simply need the Senate to reappoint … Continue Reading

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Draft Framework for Analyzing Zero-Rated and Sponsored Data Programs

On January 11, 2017, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued an informal report—“Policy Review of Mobile Broadband Operators’ Sponsored Data Offerings for Zero-Rated Content and Services”—that establishes a draft framework for reviewing mobile broadband providers’ sponsored data and zero-rated offerings and analyzes the zero-rated and … Continue Reading

Sessions Commits to Enforcing USA FREEDOM Act

On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Jeff Sessions, (R., AL), the president-elect’s nominee to lead the Department of Justice (DOJ), said that he intends to follow the USA FREEDOM Act, which prohibits the National Security Agency (NSA) from bulk collection of phone records.  For more on … Continue Reading

FCC Public Safety Bureau Inquires About How to Ensure 5G Network Security

Ahead of the upcoming administration change, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has continued its efforts focused on security and privacy. On December 16, 2016, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB or Bureau) released a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) intended to facilitate dialogue and initiate action on the part of the communications … Continue Reading

OMB Approves Enhanced Transparency Requirements for Open Internet Rules as the Small Provider Exemption Expires; Rules Will Go Into Effect January 17, 2017

According to a Public Notice the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released today, on December 15, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has completed its review of the enhanced transparency rule from the 2015 Open Internet Order. In the 2015 Order, the FCC adopted enhancements to the transparency rule, which covers both content and … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Wants to be the First State to Offer 5G; Releases RFI

The state of Rhode Island plans to be the first state to test and launch next generation 5G networks, seeking to make 5G available to all of its communities.  This past week, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a joint effort by the Public Utilities Commission, Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and the Office of Innovation … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: The FCC’s Broadband Privacy Order

On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text of its long-awaited Broadband Privacy Order, which it adopted on October 27, 2016. For an overview of the Order, you may read our client advisory here. The practical impact and reach of the rules will not be known for some time, but … Continue Reading

FCC Votes to Impose Aggressive New Privacy Rules on Broadband Providers

At the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Open Meeting on October 27, the Commission voted along party lines (3-2) to impose more stringent rules on broadband Internet service providers (“ISPs”). Chairman Tom Wheeler, along with Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn voted in favor of the item, while Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly voted against it. The new rules … Continue Reading

FCC Flexes Muscle: T-Mobile to Pay $48 Million for Failing to Disclose Limits on ‘Unlimited’ Data

Showing that it’s not about to slow down its aggressive enforcement of its open Internet regulations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a settlement yesterday resolving claims that T-Mobile USA Inc. (T-Mobile) failed to adequately disclose material restrictions on T-Mobile and MetroPCS data plans that were advertised as “unlimited” from August 2014 to June 2015.  … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Outlines Proposal for New Broadband Privacy Rules

On October 6, 2016, Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Tom Wheeler published a blog entry on the Commission’s website outlining proposed privacy rules for broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The proposed rules are scheduled to be considered by the full Commission at its monthly meeting on October 27, 2016. These rules come after … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision in AT&T “Throttling” Case May Reset Boundaries Between FTC and FCC Jurisdiction

On Monday, August 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may dramatically alter the boundaries between the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority over phone companies, broadband providers, and other common carriers.  The Ninth Circuit dismissed a case that the FTC brought against AT&T over its … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Affirms FCC’s Net Neutrality Order

On June 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which classified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, and imposed on providers a slate of “open Internet” and traditional common-carrier regulations. In … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

On June 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) 2015 Open Internet Order (2015 Open Internet Order), which classified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and imposed a … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s Open Internet Rules

In a 2-1 decision, the D.C. Circuit’s Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) 2015 Open Internet rules, which reclassified Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS), including mobile broadband, as telecommunications services subject to Title II common carrier regulations, as well as its rules against blocking, throttling, paid prioritization and enhanced transparency. We … Continue Reading

Housing Department Proposes Rules Requiring Installation of Broadband Infrastructure in HUD-Financed Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing rules requiring the installation of broadband infrastructure during construction of HUD-financed multi-family rentals, or apartments, recognizing the cost-savings when incorporated into the initial planning stages.  Building on its ConnectHome initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing in 28 communities nationwide, … Continue Reading

FCC Updates Some Network Outage Reporting Rules; Seeks Comment on Other Issues Including Broadband and Possible Expansion of VoIP Reporting

More than a year after seeking comment on proposed revisions to its communications network outage reporting (NOR) requirements, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has released an Order.  (The proposed NOR requirements for submarine cable systems was released in November 2015 and that proceeding remains pending.)  Recognizing that communications technology has evolved since the … Continue Reading

$11.7 Million Available Under Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced today the availability of $11.7 million under its Community Connect Grant Program (Community Connect), which provides grants for deploying broadband service to unserved, low-income and rural areas.  Grant awards range from $100,000 to $3 million for FY 2016.… Continue Reading

Client Advisory: The FCC’s Broadband Privacy NPRM

As we discussed in our earlier blog post, on March 31, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) voted along party lines (3-2) to launch a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish privacy rules for Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) providers.  These proposals, if adopted, could impose prescriptive and complex privacy obligations that … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Consumer Broadband “Nutrition Labels”

On April 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) unveiled new Consumer Broadband Labels to provide consumers of mobile and fixed broadband Internet access service (BIAS) with easily understandable information about the price and performance of their service. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, the labels stem from the 2015 Open Internet Order, which … Continue Reading

FCC Votes 3-2 to Initiate Sweeping Broadband Privacy Rulemaking Proceeding

On March 31, 2016 at its Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) voted along party lines (3-2) to launch a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish privacy rules for broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). As we explained in our blog post in anticipation of this vote, this rulemaking stems from the … Continue Reading

FCC Reminds Broadband Providers of Disabilities Access Duties

iStock_000036215158Large  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has long-required regulated telecommunications service providers (as well as VoIP providers) and equipment manufacturers to make their services and devices accessible to individuals with disabilities.  These entities also must annually certify to the FCC their compliance with the disabilities access requirements.  These compliance measures have become fairly … Continue Reading

FCC Includes Privacy Item on Its March Open Meeting Agenda: What to Expect

It’s official: next Thursday, March 31, 2016, the FCC will vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a proposed framework for new privacy and data security rules for broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers.  This proceeding will have important implications for not only the broadband providers subject to the rules, but also … Continue Reading
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