Broadband christened public utility by FCC – details to follow

As predicted, the FCC has set down some rules that lean heavily toward Net Neutrality.

The New York Times reports…

The F.C.C. is taking this big regulatory step by reclassifying high­speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service, under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

The Title II classification comes from the phone company era, treating service as a public utility. But the new rules are an à la carte version of Title II, adopting some provisions and shunning others. The F.C.C. will not get involved in pricing decisions or the engineering decisions companies make in managing their networks. Mr. Wheeler, who gave a forceful defense of the rules just ahead of the vote, said the tailored approach was anything but old­style utility regulation. “These are a 21st­century set of rules for a 21st­century industry,” he said.

The details will be released in the next few days. I expect those will be important but wonky. I have been impressed that so many people who don’t eat and sleep this stuff took the time to learn what a vote like this meant, to understand the potential consequences and to stand up to tell policymakers what they wanted.

The idea of an “à la carte version” of anything makes me curious – but again we’ll learn more when the details come out.

This entry was posted in FCC, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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