Advanced Television

FCC: Net neutrality ‘returns’

October 20, 2023

The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to begin the process of standing back up broadband as a Title II telecommunications service subject to some common-carrier regulations and restoring rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

“Today, there is no expert agency ensuring that the internet is fast, open, and fair… for everyone, everywhere to enjoy the full benefits of the internet age, internet access needs to be more than just accessible and affordable. The internet needs to be open,” says FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel.

Broadband access is now classified as a Title I service and is not subject to mandatory access or other common-carrier regulations. The proposed Title II-based rules prevent blocking, throttling or paid prioritization of internet access by internet service providers. The FCC is also restoring the internet conduct standard by which it could review conduct not prohibited by those rules — like zero-rating plans — but that could adversely affect internet openness and access to content.

The FCC approved a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in a meeting that included new Democrat new member Anna Gomez, and so the first time which Rosenworcel could get the three Democratic votes needed to launch the rulemaking. The Democrat-led FCC adopted net neutrality rules in 2015, which were repealed two years later by a Republican-led commission.

The partial readoption of Title II is likely to attract court action from operators and Republicans.

Categories: Articles, Broadband, Policy, Regulation

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