Broadband Communities

JUL 2016

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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80 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JULY 2016 THE LAW Net Neutrality Focus Shifts to Compliance As the D.C. Circuit Court affirms the FCC's Open Internet Order, service providers need to consider how they will comply. By C. Douglas Jarrett and Tracy P. Marshall / Keller and Heckman LLP O n June 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order. United States Telecom Association v. FCC likely will be appealed to the Supreme Court, but the D.C. Circuit's decision legitimizes the FCC's far-reaching decision, including the reclassification of broadband internet access service (BIAS) as an interstate "telecommunications service." Broadband providers offering BIAS are now regulated as "telecommunications carriers" subject to Title II of the Communications Act. ough the Open Internet rules apply to all services providers that offer BIAS, they distinguish between fixed and mobile services. is article focuses on the rules applicable to all fixed broadband services: fiber, cable, copper, wireless (unlicensed and licensed) and fixed satellite networks. Municipal, regional and startup (rural and urban) broadband providers ("new broadband providers") are regulated to the same extent as established fixed broadband providers such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T and CenturyLink, other than potentially benefiting from a temporary exemption from the transparency rule. BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE BIAS is a subset of internet access services. It encompasses mass-market, high-speed internet access provided to residential and small-business customers, schools, libraries and universities, including internet access service funded under the FCC's universal service programs, such as E-Rate. e Open Internet rules do not apply to services that use broadband networks for last-mile transport but are not intended to reach all internet end points, such as VoIP and connectivity for heart monitors, e-readers and energy consumption sensors. e FCC decided not to regulate BIAS to the same extent as legacy telecom services. e agency exercised its forbearance authority, refraining from imposing many Title II compliance obligations, including rate regulation and tariffs and the transfer of control and service discontinuance obligations of §214 of the Communications Act. BIAS REGULATION IN A NUTSHELL e Open Internet Order established two major compliance obligations related to BIAS and the relationships between and among end users, edge providers, broadband providers and internet backbone providers: openness and transparency. Openness is achieved through three bright-line rules and the "no-unreasonable interference/disadvantage" standard. e transparency rule is really a series of prescriptive requirements that pose implementation and ongoing compliance challenges. A third compliance obligation is created by proposed rules under §222 of the Communications Act – an action the FCC

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