The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The Chief of the FCC‘s Wireline Competition Bureau, Julie Veach, posted a blog recapping recent activity surrounding the FCC’s Open Internet/Net Neutrality rules proceeding. Ms Veach noted that more than 3.7 million comments and reply comments had been submitted. In addition, she highlighted “some of the ideas in the record that the Commission staff has identified as adding to the potential ways that an Open Internet can be preserved.” In particular, she identified two commenters proposing of variants on the use of the FCC’s jurisdiction under Title II of the Communications Act and various parties who proposed a hybrid approach that relied on both Title II and Section 706 of the Communications Act. She noted that a “cross-bureau group of staff are reviewing these options as well as others in the record.” The FCC’s last Open Internet Roundtable on October 7 will specifically focus on theories of legal authority and the legal basis for the construction of Open Internet rules.
UN Broadband Commission
A new United Nations Broadband Commission report says that over 50% of the global population will have Internet access within three years’ time, with mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets now the fastest growing technology in human history. The 2014 edition of the State of Broadband Report also reveals that more than 40% of the world’s people are already online, with the number of Internet users rising from 2.3 billion in 2013 to 2.9 billion by the end of this year. According to the Report:
- over 2.3 billion people will access mobile broadband by end 2014, climbing steeply to a predicted 7.6 billion within the next five years;
- there are now over three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions;
- the popularity of broadband-enabled social media applications continues to soar, with 1.9 billion people now active on social networks;
- in total, there are now 77 countries where over 50% of the population is online, up from 70 in 2013. The top ten countries for Internet use are all located in Europe; the lowest levels of Internet access are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa.