‘What’s Hot’ List 2/26/15

‘What’s Hot’ List: 2/27/15

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Setting Stage For Legal Battle (Wall Street Journal 2/26/15)  The Federal Communications Commission set aside two decades of laissez-faire policy Thursday to assert broad authority over the Internet, voting to regulate broadband providers as public utilities and overruling laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service.

Republican Commissioners Ask for Delay of Vote on Title II (Wireless Week, 2/14/15) Republican FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly on Monday asked Chairman Wheeler to delay a vote on whether to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as public utilities. In a letter to the Chairman, Pai and O’Rielly asked that the entirety of Wheeler’s 332-page plan be released to the public and then be subject to comment for a period of not less than 30 days.

A Political Miscalculation on Net Neutrality? (Forbes op-ed, Hal Singer, 2/24/15) Internet activists and a coalition of large content providers have convinced President Obama that “strong net neutrality” rules would be good for his party’s political fortunes. One aide told the Washington Post right after the November 2014 election “this is a populist issue he thinks he can win on.”

As Republicans Concede, F.C.C. Is Expected to Enforce Net Neutrality (New York Times, 2/24/15)Last April, a dozen New York-based Internet companies gathered in the Flatiron Building boardroom of the social media website Tumblr to hear dire warnings that broadband providers were about to get the right to charge for the fastest speeds on the web. The implication: If they didn’t pay up, they would be stuck in the slow lane.

Twitter wants aggressive net neutrality rules (The Washington Post, The Switch Blog, 2/23/15) Days ahead of a vote by federal regulators on the future of the Web, Twitter is coming out in support of the government’s plan to treat Internet providers more like traditional phone service. In a blog post, Twitter says that it previously backed “common sense net neutrality rules” through a Washington trade group, the Internet Association. But now the company is going further. Independently, Twitter is arguing that the Federal Communications Commission should move ahead with the most aggressive rules ever proposed for Internet providers — to be sure that they don’t unfairly speed up or slow down some sites over others or create Internet “fast lanes” that give wealthy firms an advantage over smaller ones.

Dem commissioner breaks silence on Internet rules (The Hill’s Technology Policy Blog, 2/20/15) Democratic Federal Communications Commission member Mignon Clyburn said she is “pleased” that the net neutrality order tracks closely to her prior recommendations. During a speech Thursday, she said she was breaking her policy to not publicly discuss proposed orders before a vote is held because of the importance of the net neutrality proposal.

Comcast Reports Small Profit in the Face of Regulatory Uncertainty (New York Times, 2/24/15)Uncertainty regarding new strict rules governing the Internet as well as the prospects for its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable hung over Comcast on Tuesday, as the media conglomerate reported fourth-quarter profits that were up only slightly compared with the period last year.

Google To FCC: ISP’s Provide No Separate Service To Edge (Multichannel News Blog, 2/24/15) Google has told the FCC that ISPs provide no separate service to edge providers that the FCC could classify under Title II.   Under the FCC’s proposed new network neutrality rules, it intends to reach possible interconnection-related problems using a general conduct standard under Sec. 706 authority, but it also posits that there are two separate services, one access service provided by ISPs to their customers and another to edge providers like Google and Netflix via interconnections.

FCC Calls for Greater Accuracy in 911 Call Locations (Roll Call, 2/23/15)Although 7 out of 10 emergency calls are made from cellphones, the location data sent to help 911 responders go to the right place is notoriously inaccurate. In response to an outcry from members of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission is trying to fix the problem. But it’s going to be a slow process.