Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 14

Date: Apr 12, 2010

Court Sides with Comcast in Net Neutrality Case
On April 6, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit granted Comcast's petition for review of and vacated an FCC order declaring that the FCC had jurisdiction over Comcast's network management practices. The case arose from a 2007 complaint and petition for declaratory ruling relating to allegations by subscribers to Comcast's high-speed Internet service that the company was interfering with their use of BitTorrent and other peer-to-peer networking applications. The FCC asserted "ancillary" authority to regulate Comcast's Internet service, but the DC Circuit ruled against the FCC, finding that it failed to show that it had sufficient statutory authority to regulate Comcast's decisions on peer-to-peer networking on Comcast's network. The court order could hamstring the FCC's ongoing net neutrality rulemaking proceeding and undermine efforts to shift the focus of the universal service fund to broadband services. FCC Releases Agenda for Implementing National Broadband Plan On April 8, 2010 the FCC released an agenda for implementing key recommendations of the National Broadband Plan. The agenda indicates that the FCC will issue an Order in the Pole Attachment Rulemaking proceeding by the end of June. The Order is expected to make it easier for broadband network operators to secure access to utility poles at lower rates. We also expect the Order to embrace many other attacher-friendly proposals in the FCC staff's recent Broadband Plan. The agenda is available at http://www.broadband.gov/plan/chart-of-key-broadband-action-agenda-items.pdf.

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposed Revisions to WCS Construction Requirements

As reported last week (see Vol. VII, Issue 13), the FCC released a Public Notice on March 29, 2010 seeking comment on proposed revisions to the construction requirements for the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service band. The Public Notice was published in the Federal Register on April 6, and comment and reply comment deadlines have been set; Comments are due by April 21, and reply comments by May 3. A copy of the Public Notice is available here. For more information, see Vol. VII, Issue 13.

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