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Net Neutrality Order Rel December 23 2010

Net Neutrality Order Rel December 23 2010

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Published by Paul Jackson
Net Neutrality Report and Order rel. December 23 2010
Net Neutrality Report and Order rel. December 23 2010

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Published by: Paul Jackson on Dec 23, 2010
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12/26/2010

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Federal Communications CommissionFCC 10-201Before theFederal Communications CommissionWashington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Preserving the Open InternetBroadband Industry Practices
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GN Docket No. 09-191WC Docket No. 07-52
REPORT AND ORDER Adopted: December 21, 2010Released: December 23, 2010
By the Commission:Chairman Genachowski issuing a statement; Commissioner Coppsconcurring and issuing a statement; Commissioner Clyburn approving in part, concurring in partand issuing a statement; Commissioners McDowell and Baker dissenting and issuing separatestatements.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Para.I.PRESERVING THE FREE AND OPEN INTERNET..............................................................1II.THE NEED FOR OPEN INTERNET PROTECTIONS.........................................................11A.The Internet’s Openness Promotes Innovation, Investment, Competition, FreeExpression, and Other National Broadband Goals............................................................13B.Broadband Providers Have the Incentive and Ability to Limit Internet Openness...........20C.Broadband Providers Have Acted to Limit Openness.......................................................35D.The Benefits of Protecting the Internet’s Openness Exceed the Costs..............................38III.OPEN INTERNET RULES.....................................................................................................43A.Scope of the Rules.............................................................................................................44B.Transparency.....................................................................................................................53C.No Blocking and No Unreasonable Discrimination..........................................................62D.Reasonable Network Management....................................................................................80E.Mobile Broadband.............................................................................................................93F.Other Laws and Considerations.......................................................................................107G.Specialized Services........................................................................................................112IV.THE COMMISSION’SAUTHORITY TO ADOPT OPEN INTERNET RULES...............115A.Section 706 of the 1996 Act Provides Authority for the Open Internet Rules................117B.Authority to Promote Competition and Investment In, and Protect End Users of,Voice, Video, and Audio Services...................................................................................124C.Authorityto Protect the Public Interest Through Spectrum Licensing...........................133D.Authority to Collect Information to Enable the Commission to Perform ItsReporting Obligations to Congress..................................................................................136E.Constitutional Issues........................................................................................................138V.ENFORCEMENT..................................................................................................................151A.Informal Complaints........................................................................................................153B.Formal Complaints..........................................................................................................154C.FCC Initiated Actions......................................................................................................160
 
Federal Communications CommissionFCC 10-201
2VI.EFFECTIVE DATE, OPENINTERNET ADVISORY COMMITTEE, ANDCOMMISSION REVIEW......................................................................................................161VII.PROCEDURAL MATTERS.................................................................................................164A.Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis..............................................................................164B.Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis...................................................................165C.Congressional Review Act..............................................................................................167D.Data QualityAct..............................................................................................................168E.Accessible Formats..........................................................................................................169VIII.ORDERING CLAUSES.......................................................................................................170APPENDIX A—SubstantiveRulesAPPENDIX B—Procedural RulesAPPENDIX C—List of CommentersAPPENDIX D—Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
I.PRESERVING THE FREE AND OPEN INTERNET
1.Today the Commission takes an important step to preserve the Internet as anopen platform for innovation, investment, job creation, economic growth, competition, and freeexpression. To provide greater clarity and certainty regarding the continued freedom andopenness of the Internet, we adopt three basic rules that are grounded in broadly accepted Internetnorms, as well as our own prior decisions:i.
Transparency.
Fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of their  broadband services;ii.
No blocking.
Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications,services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawfulwebsites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephonyservices; andiii.
No unreasonable discrimination.
Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonablydiscriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.We believe these rules, applied with the complementary principle of reasonable network management, will empower and protect consumers and innovators while helping ensure that theInternet continues to flourish, with robust private investment and rapid innovation at both the coreand the edge of the network. This is consistent with the National Broadband Plan goal of  broadband access that is ubiquitous and fast, promoting the global competitiveness of the UnitedStates.
1
2.Just over a year ago, we launched a public process to determine whether andwhat actions might be necessary to preserve the characteristics that have allowed the Internet togrow into an indispensable platform supporting our nation’s economy and civic life, and to foster continued investment in the physical networks that enable the Internet. Since then, more than100,000 commenters have provided written input. Commission staff held several publicworkshops and convened a Technological Advisory Process with experts from industry,academia, and consumer advocacy groups to collect their views regarding key technical issuesrelated to Internet openness.
 
1
 National Broadband Plan at xi, 3–5.
 
Federal Communications CommissionFCC 10-201
33.This process has made clear that the Internet has thrived because of its freedomand openness—the absence of any gatekeeper blocking lawful uses of the network or pickingwinners and losers online. Consumers and innovators do not have to seek permission before theyuse the Internet to launch new technologies, start businesses, connect with friends, or share their views. The Internet is a level playing field. Consumers can make their own choices about whatapplications and services to use and are free to decide what content they want to access, create, or share with others. This openness promotes competition. It also enables a self-reinforcing cycleof investment and innovation in which new uses of the network lead to increased adoption of  broadband, which drives investment and improvements in the network itself, which in turn lead tofurther innovative uses of the network and further investment in content, applications, services,and devices. A core goal of this Order is to foster and accelerate this cycle of investment andinnovation.4.The record and our economic analysis demonstrate, however, that the opennessof the Internet cannot be taken for granted, and that it faces real threats. Indeed, we have seen broadband providers endanger the Internet’s openness by blocking or degrading content andapplications without disclosing their practices to end users and edge providers, notwithstandingthe Commission’s adoptionof open Internet principles in 2005.
2
In light of these considerations,as well as the limited choices most consumers have for broadband service, broadband providers’financial interests in telephony and pay television services that may compete with online contentand services, and the economic and civic benefits of maintaining an open and competitive platform for innovation and communication, the Commission has long recognized that certain basic standards for broadband provider conduct are necessary to ensure the Internet’s continuedopenness. The record also establishes the widespread benefits of providing greater clarity in thisarea—clarity that the Internet’s openness will continue, that there is a forum and procedure for resolving alleged open Internet violations, and that broadband providers may reasonably managetheir networks and innovate with respect to network technologies and business models. Weexpect the costs of compliance with our prophylactic rules to be small, as they incorporatelongstanding openness principles that are generally in line with current practices and with normsendorsed by many broadband providers. Conversely, the harms of open Internet violations may be substantial, costly, and in some cases potentially irreversible.5.The rules we proposed in the
Open Internet NPRM 
and those we adopt todayfollow directly from the Commission’s bipartisan
 Internet Policy Statement 
, adoptedunanimously in 2005 and made temporarily enforceable for certain broadband providers in 2005and 2007;
3
openness protections the Commission established in 2007 for users of certain wireless
2
In this Order we use “broadband” and “broadband Internet access service” interchangeably, and“broadband provider” and “broadband Internet access provider” interchangeably. “End user” refers to anyindividual or entity that uses a broadband Internet access service; we sometimes use “subscriber” or “consumer” to refer to those end users that subscribe to a particular broadband Internet access service.
Cf.infra
note 172 (defining “consumer” and “person”). We use “edge provider” to refer to content,application, service, and device providers, because they generally operate at the edge rather than the core of the network. These terms are not mutually exclusive.
See infra
 para. 20.
3
See Appropriate Framework for Broadband Access to the Internet Over Wireline Facilities et al.
, PolicyStatement, 20 FCC Rcd 14986 (2005) (
 Internet Policy Statement 
);
SBC Commc’ns, Inc. and AT&T Corp. Applications for Approval of Transfer of Control 
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 18290,18392, para. 211 (2005);
Verizon Commc’ns Inc. and MCI, Inc. Applications for Approval of Transfer of Control 
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 18433, 18537, para. 221 (2005);
 AT&T Inc. and  BellSouth Corp. Application for Transfer of Control 
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 5662,5663, para. 2 (2007).

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