Opne Intenet Roundtables

The FCC announced that it will hold a series of staff-led Open Internet Roundtable Discussions in September and October. The roundtables will be open to the public and streamed live at http://www.fcc.gov/live. The schedule is as follows:




Open Internet Roundtable


Policy Approaches to Ensure an Open Internet

September 16, 2014 (morning)

Mobile Broadband and the Open Internet

September 16, 2014 (afternoon)

Effective Enforcement of Open Internet Requirements

September 19, 2014 (morning)

Technological Aspects of an Open Internet

September 19, 2014 (afternoon)

Economics of Broadband: Market Successes and Market Failures

October 2, 2014

Internet Openness and the Law

October 7, 2014

The FCC said the Roundtables would provide an opportunity for the FCC staff and interested parties to further examine the actions the FCC should take for its goal of determining the best approach to protecting and promoting Internet openness. The discussions will focus on public policy considerations and how they should be addressed to protect and promote Internet openness in both the fixed and mobile markets; the technological considerations involved in protecting the open Internet; how the competitive landscape and the economics of providing broadband and online services affects Internet openness; how the FCC can effectively enforce the current and proposed open Internet requirements; and the various legal theories underlying possible FCC actions in this area.


Further details concerning the agenda and panelists for each roundtable will be made available at a later date. The FCC said it also may schedule additional roundtable events.


Earlier this year, the FCC proposed to adopt new net neutrality rules. (The new rulemaking was necessary because in January 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated portions of the FCC’s 2010 rules and remanded the case to the FCC for further proceedings.) The proposed rules include an enhanced transparency rule, a no-blocking rule, and a new rule addressing commercial reasonableness. The no-blocking rule includes a caveat prohibiting providers from blocking edge providers from obtaining access to end users. The commercial reasonableness rule is intended to be a separate screen from the no-blocking rule. Thus, conduct acceptable under the no-blocking rule will be subject to independent examination under the legal standard of commercially reasonable practices. The FCC also proposed a multi-faceted dispute resolution process, including an ombudsperson to act as a watchdog on behalf of consumers and start-ups and small businesses.


So far, over 1.1 million comments have been filed in the docket. Reply comments are due by September 10, 2014.




Regulatory Briefing


VoIP (Digital Phone) Requirements