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September 5, 2017

The Week Ahead: House Tackles Spectrum Repack As Net Neutrality Hearing Nixed

  SNL Kagan Media and Communications Report

By Sarah Barry James

From the FCC:

The Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank based in Texas, is bringing the FCC chairman outside the Beltway to Dallas to talk about net neutrality and the commission's current proceeding aimed at overturning the Open Internet Order of 2015. The order reclassified broadband as a Title II service under the Communications Act, making it subject to more stringent regulatory authority and enabling the FCC to enforce its net neutrality rules, including its bright-line rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of online content.

Pai is well versed in making his case on this issue, having previously described Title II as " an old regulatory framework ... originally designed in the 1930s for the Ma Bell telephone monopoly." Instead of Title II regulation, Pai would like to see the commission revert back to classifying broadband as a Title I information service subject to "a light-touch regulatory framework."

The reply comment period in the FCC's net neutrality proceeding closed on Aug. 30, allowing the commission to begin reviewing the totality of the record. Pai is unlikely to lay out all of his thoughts on the issue at the Institute for Policy Innovation event on Sept. 7, but for months he has said his decision will be based on the evidence and arguments presented in the record. By the time he speaks on Sept. 7, he and his staff will have had a full week to review the comments and reply comments that came in, and he will doubtlessly be asked about his initial impressions.



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