FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said Tuesday she is moving forward with a proposal for sweeping broadband regulations that would restore the Obama-era open internet rules. The potential rules will include a key provision that would reclassify broadband as a utility service, regulated under Title II of the Communications Act. That reclassification is a necessary first step toward imposing common carrier requirements.
When former lobbyist Tom Wheeler took the reins at the FCC, consumer advocates worried his industry ties spelled trouble. Three years later, they see him as a champion for consumers.
The first briefs were filed Thursday in the legal challenge to the FCC’s open Internet order, kicking-off an expedited schedule set by the D.C court of appeals. Oral arguments could come as soon as the end of this year.
No surprise, the FCC denied all three petitions for a stay of its open Internet order. The petitions were filed May 1 by the the cable and telecom associations and on April 27 by Daniel Berninger, founder of Voice Communication Exchange Committee.
Under the commission’s proposal set for a vote next month, broadcasters, who currently pay nothing to ISPs to make their streaming services available to broadband subscribers, may wind up having to pay ISPs for higher-quality connections. But, at least for now, the NAB thinks it’s best to remain on the sidelines of the controversial policy battle.