WASHINGTON--The FCC voted, 3-2, to codify new net neutrality regulations for wireless and wireline networks that would bar blocking and throttling of content and ban carriers and ISPs from striking deals with content companies to zip their content faster to consumers. In doing so, the FCC is reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, instead of a lightly-regulated information service, a move that carriers and ISPs have said will stifle innovation.
I think wireless carriers need more oversight than they have had--they deserve it after years of failing to provide data usage alerts and being unclear on throttling policies, among other harms to consumers. And wireless customers need protections than they have been afforded in the past. But I don't think the FCC should be playing traffic cop (no pun intended) with carriers' business models.
Just as it released its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the FCC voted during its monthly meeting today to change the definition of broadband from a minimum of 4/1 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps, a move that will force incumbent telcos and cable operators to rethink how they market and deliver services to consumers and businesses.
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel renewed her call for the FCC to free up more spectrum for unlicensed used and Wi-Fi, something that has been a perennial concern of hers.
In case there were any doubts, the FCC is making it clear that it will not tolerate any form of Wi-Fi blocking, whether it's in hotels, conference centers or some other commercial establishment.
The roiling debate over net neutrality rules got another jolt Wednesday when two of the FCC's Democratic commissioners pushed for strong net neutrality regulations, and one indicated that strict net neutrality rules should apply to wireless as well as wireline networks. Meanwhile, the CTIA and wireless carriers continued to push back against the notion that the regulations should cover mobile technologies.
WASHINGTON--The FCC voted to approve draft net neutrality rules that would re-examine whether to treat wireless networks differently from wired broadband networks as the commission seeks to craft new rules that would ensure consumers get equal access to all Internet content.
The Federal Communications Commission, in a three-to-two vote, is moving ahead to implement new rules that would open the way for Internet service providers to charge websites for faster and higher-quality delivery of content to consumers. The plan has all kinds of implications for how online content is delivered, how much it will cost, and which companies have deep enough pockets to compete.
Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has said that it might be necessary for Sprint and T-Mobile US to merge in order to remain viable players in the U.S. wireless market, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. That position is notable as it could represent an easing of regulatory opposition to the proposed deal, which Sprint and parent SoftBank have been floating during the past several months.
The FCC is poised to open more of the 5 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use, though the exact rules for doing so are not yet finalized.