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FCC’s policies on hold following Trump’s election

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is signalling that it may not be passing any more controversial rules this year, in acknowledgment that the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump could take things in a very different direction next year, writes Brian Fung in the Washington Post. He says that although a number of contested policy proposals remain on ‘circulation’, meaning they could technically be voted on and approved at any time, the agency has removed several from its agenda for its next monthly meeting. “Among the items removed is a proceeding that would apply new rules to the data connections businesses and institutions buy from providers such as AT&T and Verizon. This $45 billion-a-year industry powers ATMs, credit-card readers and other common transactions consumers make every day. Some legacy telecom companies had vigorously opposed the deal, and a trade group for the industry said it was ‘pleased’ the FCC had put the proposal on ice.” The FCC’s chair, Tom Wheeler has personally led an effort to pass some of the most sweeping – and politically divisive – policies of the 21st century, says Fung. “Under his watch, the FCC approved strict new rules for internet providers that banned them from blocking or slowing consumers' access to websites. Last month, he shepherded through a measure to force broadband companies to honour customer privacy; the policy mandates that consumers should be allowed to opt out of having their personal data used for advertising purposes.” But Trump's election puts the fate of those policies in doubt. Policy analysts widely expect Trump and his Republican allies in Congress to attempt to roll back Wheeler's regulations on net neutrality, privacy and possibly other issues. Read more

  • Monday, 21 November 2016

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