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The FCC’s Bright Lines

Jonathan Jacob Nadler says the FCC’s new Open Internet Remand Order makes five fundamental changes, faces five legal challenges – and will have five unintended consequences.

The FCC’s Bright Lines

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has done what many observers long believed was unthinkable. The FCC – by a three-to-two party-line vote – replaced its longstanding ‘light touch’ approach to internet regulation with comprehensive network neutrality rules that:

  • Reclassify retail broadband internet access service (BIAS) as a telecommunications service subject to ‘common carrier’ (public utility) regulation
  • Expressly ban ‘paid prioritisation’
  • Regulate the relationship between broadband internet service providers (ISPs) and their retail customers
  • Apply to mobile ISPs the same regulatory requirement applied to fixed ISPs
  • Empower the agency to resolve what were previously viewed as commercial disputes regarding internet interconnection.

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