North Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its new net neutrality rules set to take effect in June, Ars Technica reports. In addition to reclassifying broadband and mobile as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act and banning certain practices (throttling, blocking certain types of traffic), the FCC preempted state laws that allow them to block municipal broadband operations.
The Hill reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other parties interested in seeing the new net neutrality rules implemented in early June to explain why the court should allow them to go forward.
A law firm has filed a "petition for reconsideration" with the Federal Communications Commission today saying that its new rules voted on in its February meeting are not strong enough. The petition to the courts was filed by Washington, D.C.-based law firm Smithwick and Belendiuk.
Arthur Belendiuk, a partner in the firm, says that the new rules fall short in a number of ways, most notably in how they forbear applying traditional telecommunication regulations to broadband despite reclassifying its as a regulated telecom service.
Once again the Senate is using a budget hearing to rail against the Federal Communications Commission's changes to net neutrality rules voted on in February.
At a Senate appropriations hearing today, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai urged the panel of lawmakers not to provide funds to FCC needed to implement the new rules.
"The commission will spend a lot of money and time applying regulations that are wasteful and unnecessary and that are already proving harmful to the American public," Pai said.
In a speech at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) conference in Chicago yesterday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler offered a blunt message to service providers in the United States: stop complaining about the new net neutrality rules and start competing. Of course Wheeler had a lot more to say at the annual gathering of cable operators.
Trade groups and service providers are being clever in how they can derail the new net neutrality rules; besides all of the actions being driven by its supporters in Congress, these groups are also formally requesting that the Federal Communications Commission delay the implementation of one particular rule change: reclassifying broadband and mobile service providers as "common carriers" under title II of the Telecommunications Act.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is popular among republican lawmakers - and by popular we mean a regular target of House and Senate committee hearings. Wheeler was hauled before the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology subcommittee this week for a hearing about transparency: "FCC Reauthorization: Improving Commission Transparency" (as detailed by this Ars Technica report).
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) introduced a "resolution of disapproval" (PDF) this week that declares that the FCC’s new policy "shall have no force or effect." The resolution is nearly identical to what Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia) introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this month. Here's what Sen. Paul's Senate effort states:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has received a request to delay the implementation of new Internet regulations it approved in its late February meeting, according to Reuters. The very first request comes from Daniel Berninger, founder of the Voice Communication Exchange Committee, who has asked the FCC to delay the rules so that things can be sorted out in the courts. The FCC is being sued by several ISPs and trade groups over the rule changes already.
The $45 billion merger deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is officially dead. Comcast announced this morning that it would abandon the deal in the face of growing opposition from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. Because Comcast didn't have a separation agreement, it does not have to pay Time Warner Cable any sort of separation fee.
Bloomberg is reporting that the $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is dead, according to "people with knowledge of the matter" who spoke to the publication. Because Comcast doesn't have a separation agreement in place with TWC, it won't have to pay out like AT&T did when its merger with T-Mobile was rejected in 2011.
Cable and broadband provider CenturyLink has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The ISP is the seventh litigant taking aim at the FCC in court; it joins service providers AT&T and Alamo Broadband, and trade groups including CTIA, the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom), the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the American Cable Association.
Bloomberg is reporting that that the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger will likely be blocked by the Justice Department. The $45.2 billion merger is likely to be opposed because DOJ lawyers believe it will harm consumers. The Federal Communications Commission, who also have the power to reject the deal, are also leaning towards the same conclusion, according to the report.
Yesterday mobile and broadband provider AT&T filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concerning its February decision to reclassify broadband and mobile providers as "common carriers" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Ars Technica reports that other cable operators like Comcast and Verizon have indicated that they don't plan to sue the FCC - instead referring the publication to a trade group.
Ars Technica reports that a federal judge has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission does have jurisdiction to sue AT&T for allegedly throttling customers. In its argument before the federal court, AT&T - who hates net neutrality and didn't want to be classified as a common carrier - said that the FTC did not have jurisdiction to take it to court because it is... a common carrier.
On Friday Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam sent a letter to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Congress urging them to push forward with legislative efforts to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act and defang the FCC, according to The Hill.
Some analysts are expressing concerns that a loophole left in the new net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late February will be used by telecoms, broadband providers and mobile phone service providers to circumvent banned practices such as throttling and blocking traffic.
The loophole involves an exemption for "specialized services" - web applications related to services such as VoIP phone service, smart thermostats, and real-time health monitoring.
If you can't beat 'em, defund them. That seems to be the undercurrent at a House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government hearing today featuring testimony from FCC Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai. On the other side of that contentious proposal is FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who offered a counter argument at the budget hearing earlier in the day.
It was inevitable that telecoms would sue the Federal Communications Commission in federal court over the reclassification of mobile and broadband service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, but two entities have decided to get a head start on it this week. In separate filings in different District courts USTelecom and Texas-based service provider Alamo Broadband have asked that the new net neutrality rules be put aside.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) told Washington Post that the Federal Communications Commission's inspector general has opened up an investigation "in the last couple of days" to examine the agency's move to draw up new rules for Internet providers. Chaffetz is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a staunch opponent of the new rules put on mobile and broadband carriers by the FCC.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler is going into the lion's den over the next two weeks as he defends the agency's late February vote to reclassify broadband and mobile providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act to lawmakers in D.C. Wheeler is expected to attend five meetings before committees in both the House of Representatives and the U.S.
Here's a disconcerting report from Ars Technica about how AT&T is still throttling mobile unlimited data plan customers and the FCC probably won't do much to stop them - at least for now. And all of this is after the fact that the FCC put tighter restrictions on throttling in its late February meeting. It did not however specifically use the term "ban."
Those complaining about the Federal Communications Commission's changes to net neutrality rules in its late February meeting now have the opportunity to look at all of the details. Today the FCC released a 400 page document, which you can find here.
It includes all the rule changes to the Open Internet Order, the opinions of the commission's Democratic and Republican members, and other issues that were voted on during the February meeting.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chair of the communications subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recently promised at an industry summit hosted by the American Cable Association that he would take the bite out of the FCC's new net neutrality rules.
"I think it’s illogical and illegal. It didn’t have to be this way," said Walden on the FCC's vote to approve stronger net neutrality protections in late February. "We intend to do our due diligence."
Update: The Entertainment Software Association - the trade group representing the video game industry - praised the FCC's decision today concerning net neutrality rules changes (thanks GamesBeat):
After lengthy orations from the two Democratic and two Republican FCC commissioners at a hearing today, the full commission voted in favor of reclassifying mobile and broadband as "common carriers" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Republican commissioners voted against the rule changes, while Democratic Commissioners and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler voted in favor of the measure. The net neutrality rule changes also ban the practice of paid prioritization, or "fast lanes" (whereby content providers pay ISPs for direct access to its customers).
If you are interested in seeing the full commission arguing about net neutrality rule changes and in taking a closer look at state laws that pot up barriers to municipal broadband offerings, then you can watch it live on The Verge.
They are also live-tweeting the event as it happens. Right now Republican commissioners are explaining why pre-empting state laws is unconstitutional and amount to meddling with the free market.
A vote on this particular issue is eminent.