iStock_000006131068MediumOn April 27, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) released the draft text of a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would launch a new FCC proceeding (WC Docket No. 17-108) to roll back the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order and take steps to “restore Internet freedom” by deregulating broadband Internet access service (BIAS).  As discussed in more detail below, in the NPRM, the Commission proposes to restore the regulatory framework in place before the 2015 Open Internet Order (which the NPRM calls the “Title II Order”), and seeks comment on how best to achieve that outcome.

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On April 26, 2017, Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) announced his plans to launch a rulemaking proceeding reassessing the FCC’s Open Internet rules.

During an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Chairman Pai announced that he would present a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to reassess many aspects of the 2015 Open Internet Order, which reclassified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a Title II telecommunications service and imposed a number of common-carrier style regulations on BIAS.  On May 18, 2017, Chairman Pai will ask for a Commission vote on the NPRM at the Commission’s monthly open meeting.
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On Thursday February 23, 2017, by a 2-1 vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to restore the Small Provider Exemption from the Commission’s Open Internet rules, and to expand the exemption to cover more BIAS providers.

In the 2015 Open Internet Order, the FCC adopted enhanced transparency disclosure requirements for Internet service providers by requiring providers to disclose promotional rates, all fees and/or surcharges, all data caps and allowances, and additional network performance metrics (e.g., packet loss).


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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

stock_12192012_0878Showing 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.  Specifically, the FCC’s investigation found that T‑Mobile failed to adequately disclose that it would significantly slow the speed of its customers’ “unlimited” data after they reached preset, undisclosed thresholds for data usage.

The FCC’s settlement requires T-Mobile to pay a total of $48 million. It further requires T-Mobile to clearly and conspicuously disclose any material limitations on the amount and speed of mobile data for its “unlimited” plans, and includes reporting and training obligations.


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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

iStock_000008141839LargeIn 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.

grid2On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued its first enforcement advisory in the post-Open Internet Order  era.  Not surprisingly, the Bureau’s first advisory addressed the consumer privacy obligations of broadband providers.  In the Advisory, the Bureau reminded broadband Internet access service (“BIAS”) providers that they will need to take “reasonable, good faith steps to protect consumers’ privacy” pursuant to Section 222 of the Communications Act when the 2015 Open Internet Order goes into effect on June 12, 2015.  The Advisory also advises broadband providers to seek informal FCC guidance regarding particular practices during the initial implementation of the order.

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On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text of its long-awaited Open Internet Order, which it adopted on February 26, 2015.

As we discussed in a previous blog post, the FCC voted 3-2, along party lines, to reclassify “broadband Internet access service” (including both fixed and mobile broadband) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and to apply new prohibitions on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.  It also forbears from many provisions of Title II, while applying other of the traditional Title II provisions.
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At the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) Open Meeting on February 26, the Commission voted along party lines (3-2) to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (as amended), imposing common carrier-based “Open Internet” rules on fixed and mobile broadband providers. Chairman Tom Wheeler, along with Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn voted in favor of the item, while Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly voted against it.
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