FCC Releases Text of Title II Rollback NPRM

Commission will give commenters until Aug. 16 to weigh in
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The vetting and explicating on the FCC's network neutrality notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) can now begin in earnest.

The FCC has released the text of the item, which was voted along party lines last week as FCC chairman Ajit Pai makes good on his promise to try and un-classify ISPs as common carriers under Title II.

"With this Notice, the Commission initiates a new rulemaking that proposes to restore the market-based policies necessary to preserve the future of Internet Freedom, and to reverse the decline in infrastructure investment, innovation, and options for American consumers put into motion by the Commission in 2015," the NPRM read. 

The NPRM also seeks input on how consumers use the internet as a way to test its assumption that ISPs are in fact an information service and that "offering Internet access is precisely what makes the service capable of 'generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information' to consumers?"

Additionally, the FCC wants input on "the text, structure, and purposes of the Communications Act and the Telecommunications Act, as well as any additional facts about what Internet service providers offer, how broadband Internet access service works, and what broadband Internet users expect that might inform our analysis." 

Pai has said this is the beginning of the process and that the final product will also be put out for comment before a vote is taken.

As advertised, the FCC is giving commenters about three months to weigh in, with initial comments due July 17 and reply comments due Aug. 16.

The FCC is proposing to 1) reclassify ISPs as information services not subject to mandatory access under Title II or, potentially, common carrier rate regs; 2) reinstate that mobile broadband is a private mobile service; 3) eliminate the general conduct standard for reviewing possible violations of open internet principles not covered under the rules; and 4) seeks comment on whether to keep, modify or eliminate those bright-line rules against blocking, throttling or paid prioritization.

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