On December 23, 2010, the FCC adopted new Open Internet ("network neutrality") rules that place a variety of disclosure and other obligations on certain providers of broadband Internet access. On June 30, 2011, while required OMB review of the new rules continued, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and the Office of General Counsel issued a Public Notice to assist with compliance with the new transparency rule. OMB review was completed early in August, the rules were published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2011, and they are effective as of November 20, 2011.
The rules, the justification for the rules, and the Commission’s authority to adopt the rules will be the subject of ongoing policy, legal, and legislative battles in the months and years ahead. Petitions for review were filed in numerous federal circuits, and, after a lottery, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was selected to hear the appeals brought by Verizon and Verizon Wireless and numerous consumer and public interest groups. We expect the court to hear the case in 2012.
The Kelley Drye Telecom practice has created a memo titled "A Practical Look at the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet (Network Neutrality) Regulations" that provides a practical overview in question and answer format of the substance of the new rules and the obligations they impose on affected providers of broadband Internet access services, as well as general guide for compliance, taking into account the Enforcement Advisory.