WASHINGTON, DC—Today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler revealed the Federal Communications Commission’s approach to preserving an open and accessible Internet. The proposed Order would prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from discriminating against lawful online content. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made the case for the new rules in an Op-Ed in Wired. read more
WASHINGTON, DC—This week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to circulate his plans to preserve an open Internet where musicians, composers and other content creators can reach audiences without discrimination or interference from a handful of powerful Internet Service Providers.
According to news reports, the proposed rules include reclassification of broadband as a “telecommunications service”—a move that provides for sounder footing to protect content creators and consumers. The FCC will vote on these rules at its February 26, 2015 Open Meeting.
The following statement is attributed to Casey Rae, CEO of Music Coalition (FMC), a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers: read more
Lots of news in net neutrality-land over the past couple of weeks. In fact, there’s so much going on right now, that’s its kind of hard to summarize. But we’ll give it a shot.
As you may recall, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler recently revealed that the agency would bring new net neutrality rules to a vote on February 26. In a January 7 interview at the Consumer Electronics Showcase in Las Vegas, Wheeler hinted that the rules would be crafted under Title II of the Telecommunications Act—something that FMC and our artist allies have pushed for because they offer the greatest degree of protections for musicians and other content producers, within the strongest legal framework.
That same day, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) reintroduced legislation—the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act—that would unambiguously authorize the FCC to issue net neutrality rules under whatever framework the Commission deems appropriate. (Check out the details in our legislation tracker.)
House Republicans are rumored to be crafting their own bill, which for the first time would recognize the need to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from discriminating against lawful online content. This is significant in the sense that it represents a sea change for a party that has long fought against any form of net neutrality. However, it is likely that the proposed legislation is really just a way to stall the FCC from doing what it should and must do: issue clear rules of the road under the light-touch regulatory framework that is Title II.
In other words, this bill might make ginormous ISPs like Comcast happy, but it’s not what is needed to ensure that artists and independent labels have a shot at reaching audiences on their own terms. If Congress is to write a law enshrining net neutrality—which has always been in its purview—the legislation would have to mirror what the FCC already has complete and total authority to do under Title II. So once again to quote Public Enemy: don’t believe the hype. (And tell your Congresspersons not to, either.)
Probably the biggest news this week is a letter to the FCC from mobile telecommunications provider Sprint saying that light-touch regulation under a Title II framework will not harm investment or deployment. This is huge, especially considering the misinformation that has been spread by other telcos about reclassification under Title II—including made-up stories about higher taxes that have been soundly and routinely debunked.
On Wednesday, January 7, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler made news by hinting that upcoming net neutrality rules would be stronger (and more legally grounded) than previous proposals.
On Friday, January 2, news broke that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on its long awaited Net Neutrality rules in February. The regular FCC meeting in February is scheduled for February 26. As Brian Fung of the Washington Post writes: read more
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, President Barack Obama underscored his support for an open, and accessible Internet based in free expression and entrepreneurship by calling for the FCC to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service.
The following statement is attributed to Casey Rae, VP for Policy and Education at Music Coalition (FMC), a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians:
“The president hit the nail on the head in supporting light-touch rules using the bedrock principle of ‘common carriage.’ This is part of a longstanding American tradition in communications policy that enables both free expression and economic growth. read more
It looks as though the FCC is favoring a hybrid approach to net neutrality.
Four days ago, FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn delivered remarks to the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit, held at Georgetown University in D.C. Clyburn said that the FCC looks to be “a ‘facilitator of opportunities,’ and a ‘connector of the disconnected,’” continuing to say they want to be “a strong advocate for free enterprise and robust competition. I support allowing markets the chance to solve problems, while remaining focused on the consumer.” Clyburn’s remarks seemed to indicate the FCC’s move towards a hybrid solution to the debate, repeatedly stressing the importance of an agnostic approach to consumer data, while “promoting competition” between companies. read more