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NOTE DATE FCC Moves Closer to Regulating the Internet
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 18:17:09 -0400

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From: dewayne () warpspeed com (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date: September 10, 2008 7:13:39 AM EDT
To: Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy () warpspeed com>
Subject: [Dewayne-Net] FCC Moves Closer to Regulating the Internet

FCC Moves Closer to Regulating the Internet

(September 8, 1998) The Federal Communications Commission released a lengthy report on Thursday, September 4, which suggests that the FCC ought to regulate Internet access provided by cable operators such as @Home, Road Runner, Cablevision, and MediaOne. This is the second major policy statement by the FCC this year that seeks to expand its regulatory reach from telecommunications services into computer and Internet services.

The Congress, courts, and until recently, the FCC, have held to a distinction between "telecommunication services" and "information services" (also referred to as "basic" and "enhanced," respectively). The former are subject to FCC regulation -- the latter are not. The FCC maintains in this Report that it still adheres to this dichotomy. However, it seeks to redefine certain information services as telecommunications services.

The Report argues too that with technological convergence "it will become increasingly difficult to maintain that particular facilities are 'cable' as opposed to 'telecommunications'." And because of this, existing "regulatory categories," claims the Report, "must necessarily collapse of their own weight in the digital communications world of tomorrow."

The paper released last week is entitled "Internet Over Cable: Defining the Future in Terms of the Past: FCC Staff Working Paper on Regulatory Categories and the Internet." It was written by Barbara Esbin, Associate Bureau Chief of the Cable Services Bureau, in conjunction with FCC's Office of Plans and Policy (OPP).


"Internet Over Cable" is 129 pages long. It can be viewed at the FCC website in PDF format: <http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/OPP/working_papers/oppwp30.pdf >
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