Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) announced plans to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to undo today’s Federal Communications Commission vote to roll back the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules. The rules prevented broadband providers from blocking websites, throttling web traffic, or creating “fast lanes” only for those able to pay for prioritization. Joined by 15 senators, a CRA would restore the agency’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which the D.C. Circuit Court upheld not once, but twice. Public Knowledge commends Sen. Markey for continuing his efforts to protect net neutrality for all Americans.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modify or eliminate the 39 percent national audience reach cap that prevents broadcast stations from owning too much of the market. The NPRM will also seek comment on the UHF discount used by broadcast television station groups to calculate compliance with the audience reach cap.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to adopt FCC Chairman Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal, walking away from the agency’s longstanding commitment to protecting the Open Internet and ensuring that broadband providers do not discriminate against internet content or services. Chairman Pai’s proposal to repeal the net neutrality rules is a deeply troubling and radical break from an almost 20 years of bipartisan FCC tradition of protecting the Open Internet.
In my last post, took the four most famous net neutrality violations to see how they would come out under the current rules adopted in 2015 v. how they would come out under the regulatory framework following the Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality rules, based on the draft Order. To condense the approximately 5500-word analysis: all four incidents are addressable under the 2015 rules. None of the incidents are addressable under the combined Federal Trade Commission and antitrust regime that remains after the vote to repeal the rules, with the exception of Comcast’s deliberate deception about their blocking peer-2-peer protocols in 2007-08.
Today, the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission announced an agreement to coordinate consumer protections following the FCC’s Dec. 14 vote to roll back the agency’s net neutrality rules.