FCC's Wheeler Makes Case For 'Modernized' Title II Internet Regulation In Post For Wired.com
February 4, 2015 at 11:40 AM (PT)
In a post at WIRED.COM, FCC Chairman TOM WHEELER offered his explanation for the proposal he will submit to his colleagues this week calling for Title II regulation of broadband Internet service, a plan he said is intended to "preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression ... (a plan) rooted in long-standing regulatory principles, marketplace experience, and public input received over the last several months."
Recalling his own experience running an ISP offering what was then considered high-speed networking over cable television lines and encountering resistance from the cable operators, he said that his initial impulse to use a "commercial reasonableness" standard as encouraged by the courts was tempered by his concern that it might "be interpreted to mean what is reasonable for commercial interests, not consumers."
He will propose a "modernized" Title II approach that he says will offer "enforceable, bright-line rules" to ban paid prioritization and blocking and throttling of content and services, and wants to apply the same rules to mobile broadband. "My proposal," he writes, "assures the rights of Internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.
"All of this can be accomplished while encouraging investment in broadband networks," he continues, saying that "there will be no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling."
Read WHEELER's post by clicking here.
In a "fact sheet" issued by the Commission TODAY (2/4), the parts of Title II that will be applied and which will not apply were enumerated. The "core provisions" of Title II to be applied to the Internet will include sections 201-202 (no “unjust and unreasonable practices”), Sections 206-209, 216-217 (allows investigation and enforcement of consumer complaints), Section 222 (consumer privacy), Section 224 (fair access to poles and conduits), Sections 225 and 255 (boosting the deployment of new broadband networks and protecting the disabled), and Section 254 (Universal Service Fund support for broadband service in the future). Not being applied will be rate regulation, Universal Service Fund contributions by broadband providers, and any new taxes or fees.