This week the Federal Communications Commission issued three important items related to the National Broadband Plan, and broadband services generally.
On September 1, the Commission issued a Public Notice to initiate a Further Inquiry Into Two Under-Developed Issues In The Open Internet Proceeding (GN Docket No. 09-191, and WC Docket No. 07-52). The original Open Internet NPRM (which we discussed at length here) was released October 22, 2009 over two partial dissents, and was designed to impose “network neutrality” rules on Internet service providers, including nondiscrimination obligations, limits on network management techniques, and disclosure requirements. As discussed in more detail in the Public Notice, comments submitted in this and other proceedings have prompted the Commission to further solicit public discussion regarding two “complex” issues that were addressed “in less detail” than other issues in the NPRM. First, the Commission seeks additional comments about concerns and policies related to “managed” or “specialized” services. The NPRM had appeared to be more sensitive to allowing innovation in IP managed services outside of Open Internet regulations, so the Further Inquiry could affect the regulations as originally proposed.
Second, the Commission seeks additional comment on “how, to what extent, and when” its “openness principles” should apply to mobile wireless services. The Public Notice specifically noted the fact that, since the NPRM was released in October, recent developments warranted updating the record on certain questions related to wireless, namely, the emergence of new business models by certain wireless carriers to introduce pricing plans that charge different prices based on consumers’ level of data consumption, and Verizon’s and Google’s recent proposal for open Internet legislation that would exclude wireless.
Today, the FCC released an Order extending the deadline for filing reply comments in its pole attachment rulemaking proceeding (WC Docket No. 07-245) to Monday, October 4, 2010. Reply comments previously were due on September 13, but in response to a petition for extension filed by an industry organization representing electric utilities, the Commission decided to extend the deadline by three weeks.
Also today, the Commission released its tentative agenda for its September open meeting. According to the release, the Commission intends to discuss four items: (1) TV White Spaces Second Memorandum Opinion and Order; (2) E-Rate Broadband Order; (3) E911 Location Accuracy Second Report and Order; and (4) E911 Location Accuracy FNPRM and NOI.