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.