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The Telecom Digest for Feb 28, 2015
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|Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 11:49:27 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FCC approves new net neutrality rules Message-ID: <email@example.com> By Roger Yu and Mike Snider, USA TODAY.February 26, 2015 Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to implement new net neutrality rules designed to make sure Internet service providers treat all legal content equally. The historic vote on the proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler elicited hearty cheers from a wide array of technology companies and consumer groups while setting the table for further legal challenges from Internet service providers. The controversial proceedings that led up to the vote generated heated lobbying in Washington and public clamor on social media, all in efforts to steer the future direction of the rules that guide Internet traffic. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/02/26/fcc-approves-net-neutrality-rules/24053057/ -or- http://usat.ly/1AbZBZB Neal McLain|
|Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:18:08 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: After FCC vote, can Texas cities now offer their own Internet access? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle, February 26, 2015 Yes, today's Federal Communications Ruling that both broadband and mobile Internet access providers are utilities is a big deal. This lets the commission enforce so-called net neutrality rules that prevent providers from favoring one type of Internet traffic over another. But another vote taken today is just as a important. The FCC also decided, 3-2, to overturn bans against municipal broadband in two states so that cities there can offer their own Internet access. This is significant because 18 other states have similar bans, including Texas. While today's ruling focused on just two instances, it indicates the FCC is opposed to such bans, and could rule against other, similar state laws. http://blog.chron.com/techblog/2015/02/after-fcc-vote-can-texas-cities-now-offer-their-own-internet-access/ -or- http://tinyurl.com/lcbl6zt Neal McLain|
|Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:01:00 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Mixed reactions to net neutrality vote Message-ID: <email@example.com> Comcast, Cablevision, Charter execs have mixed reactions to net neutrality vote By Daniel Frankel, FierceCable, February 26, 2015 As widely expected, the FCC voted 3-2 across party lines Thursday to codify strident regulation on Internet service providers, regulating them as a public utility for the first time. Under the new rules, cable companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications that also operate broadband networks will be prohibited from slowing down traffic from sources like Netflix. They'll also be stopped from establishing individual "fast lane" deals with these companies to speed up their traffic. As expected, the cable industry's top lobbying group, the National Cable Telecommunications Association, reacted swiftly - and negatively - to the announcement of the vote. "This extraordinary action has been justified by the desire to preserve net neutrality, but the FCC order goes well beyond that reasonable objective," the NCTA statement reads. "The FCC has taken the overwhelming support for an open Internet and pried open the door to heavy-handed government regulation in a space celebrated for its free enterprise. The commission has breathed new life into the decayed telephone regulatory model and applied it to the most dynamic, free-wheeling and innovative platform in history." http://www.fiercecable.com/story/comcast-cablevision-charter-execs-have-mixed-reactions-net-neutrality-vote/2015-02-26?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal -or- http://tinyurl.com/pe6cfex Neal McLain|
|Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2015 12:25:17 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: FCC ruling overturns state laws preventing municipal broadband expansion Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By Sean Buckley, FierceTelecom, February 26, 2015 The FCC moved to preempt elements of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that were designed to restrict municipal providers in these communities from providing broadband service outside of their current serving areas. This move could drive other states to act and could result in potential court challenges. The FCC's order was voted 3-2 on party lines, with Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler joined by fellow Democrats Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. The order will let communities choose whether or not to build their own networks based on their own missions and the ability to expand services to nearby communities. Municipal broadband has been one of Wheeler's key focus areas. In May, Wheeler made a call to explore the idea of preempting more than 19 state laws that prevent or discourage municipalities from building their own broadband networks. http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/fcc-ruling-overturns-state-laws-preventing-municipal-broadband-expansion/2015-02-26?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal -or- http://tinyurl.com/ldw9g9z Neal McLain|
|Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:20:25 +0000 (UTC)
From: email@example.com (Garrett Wollman)
Subject: Re: FCC ruling overturns state laws preventing municipal broadband expansion
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Neal McLain <email@example.com> wrote:
>The FCC moved to preempt elements of state laws in North Carolina and
>Tennessee that were designed to restrict municipal providers in these
>communities from providing broadband service outside of their current
>serving areas. This move could drive other states to act and could
>result in potential court challenges.
I'm certain both this and the reclassification of Internet access
under Title II will be challenged in court. My bet would be that the
reclassification ultimately survives a court challenge, and that this
preemption question goes down. Although on the one hand federal law
generally trumps state law, municipalities are entirely creatures of
state law, and I would be surprised if the courts found that the FCC
could authorize a municipality to do something that its sole source of
legal authority has forbidden it to do.
***** Moderator's Note *****
The FCC has preempted local zoning laws which forbid the use of TV
antennas, and has even applied the proscription to CC&R deed
restrictions and condominium agreements which were written to forbid
satellite (and other) TV antennas.
I think the precedent has been set.
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