Today’s Regulatory Mix: ISPs File Lawsuit to Overturn New York’s Affordable Broadband Act, FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund Program Draft Released, Vermont Net Neutrality Case Stayed
ISPs File Lawsuit to Overturn New York’s Affordable Broadband Act
On April 16, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Affordable Broadband Act establishing $15/month high-speed internet for qualifying low-income families. In response, lobby groups, including USTelecom, CTIA-The Wireless Association, and multiple others, have filed a lawsuit asserting that broadband internet is a federally regulated interstate information service, therefore New York does not have the authority to set broadband rates.
FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund Program Draft Released
With a pending statutory deadline, The FCC released a draft Report and Order that, if adopted, would establish the $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (ECF Program), pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The ECF Program would reimburse schools and libraries for the purchase of eligible equipment and services for students, school staff, and library patrons during the pandemic. Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated that “Even as the pandemic ebbs in some areas and surges in others, millions of students are still engaged in remote learning, and there is no time to lose. Congress has entrusted the Commission with the vital task of providing relief to our students, teachers, school staff, and library patrons – and has mandated that we do so quickly.”
Vermont Net Neutrality Case Stayed
A federal court in Vermont has agreed to stay a case brought by a coalition of groups representing internet service providers that are challenging Vermont’s net neutrality rules until a resolution is reached by an appeals court in a case challenging a similar law in California, or until November 15, whichever occurs first. In the interim, the state is enjoined from enforcing the rules requiring Internet service providers to commit to adhere to the net neutrality principles set forth in Executive Order No. 2-18 and Act 169.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related 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 an Inteserra Briefing.