What to expect for federal broadband policy in 2017

Connected Nation just released a policy brief on what we can expect for broadband policy this year. Their list of big topics included:

  • New Direction at the FCC
  • Net Neutrality
  • AT&T and Time Warner Merger
  • Capitol Hill

Borrowing from the report, here’s a quick look at each…

New Direction at FCC – The New Chair is Ajit Pai. (I’ve written quite a bit about him.) Early in Trump’s tenure word was that the transition team was considering a transformative policy change that would remove much of the FCC’s regulatory power and shift it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Net Neutrality – the expectation is that the FCC or the Legislature will seek to amend, replace or eliminate entirely the 2015 net neutrality order.

AT&T Time Warner Merger – Trump criticized the merger while campaigning but folks seem to think he may warm up to it at least enough to allow it to happen.

Capitol Hill –

  • There’s a push for wireless connectivity starting with Senator Thune as well as less regulation, changes to net neutrality and a replacement for the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
  • Folks want to look at the NTIA – National Telecommunications and Information Administration (the folks who administered the much of ARRA funds) and the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act (exempts small providers from some regulation or reporting).
  • Trump has promised infrastructure spending – and the assumption/hope is that it will include funds for broadband.
This entry was posted in 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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