On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years.
The Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order adopted by the FCC are as follows:
- Restores the classification of broadband Internet access service as an “information service” under Title I of the Communications Act—the classification affirmed by the Supreme Court in the 2005 Brand X case.
- Reinstates the classification of mobile broadband Internet access service as a private mobile service.
- Restores broadband consumer protection authority to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), enabling it to apply its extensive expertise to provide uniform online protections against unfair, deceptive, and anti-competitive practices.
- Requires that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) disclose information about their practices to consumers, entrepreneurs, and the Commission, including any blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, or affiliated prioritization.
These provisions takes effect upon approval by the Office of Management and Budget of the new transparency rule that requires the collection of additional information from industry.