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Evariste Some

Net
Neutrality Regulation

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What are the top
reasons for net neutrality regulation? Why are we doing this? What are the
problems classifying “Broadband Internet Access Service” (BIAS) as a “telecommunication
service”? Because there are enough problems, Commission wants to classify BIAS
as “information service”. Therefore, what is the definition of information
service, and how it maps to BIAS? Those are the questions we will attempt to
provide a reasonable point of view.

The top reasons of net neutrality
regulation are to:

First, eliminate
the burdensome regulation that hamper “innovation and investment of Broadband
Internet Access Service”, offer a chance “to free and open Internet”, and to
allow consumers to choose the BIAS that fits their needs (FCC, 2018, p. 2).

Second, in 2015
Title II Order, “the Commission abandoned twenty years of precedent and
reclassified BIAS as telecommunication service subject to several regulatory
obligations under Title II of the Communication Act of 1934. Such approach has
been reverse and the BIAS has been restored to its Title I information service
classification. The regulation has ended utility style regulation of the
Internet in favor of the market based policies to preserve the future of
internet freedom. The private mobile service classification of mobile BIAS, and
the Commission’s definition of interconnected service that existed prior 2015 have
been reinstated. Such modification will promote investment and innovation
better than applying costly and restrictive laws” (FCC, 2018, p. 2).

Third, “net neutrality regulation”
required a transparency with ISP actors. That helps consumers to choose what
work best for them. It belongs to consumers to decide what BIAS meets their
needs. Regulation went back to the transparency rule the “Commission adopted in
2014 with limited modifications” (FCC, 2018, p. 2).

Fourth, the Commission’s
conduct rules have been eliminated. These rules cost to innovation and
investment, which outweigh any benefits that is generated. No sources of legal
authority have proven the conduct rules governing Internet Service Providers
adopted in the Title II order (FCC, 2018, p. 2). Additionally, transparency
requirement ensures that consumer have means to take legal action if an ISP
engages in behavior inconsistent with an open internet.

Overall, the mean
of all these actions is to promote broadband deployment in America, mostly in
uncovered rural area, and infrastructure investment throughout the nation. Such
perspectives will brighten the future of innovation both within networks and
their edges.

Why are we doing this?

The intended
actions are to “promote competition and reduce regulation, to flourish computer
services to the benefit of all Americans”, to “promote the continuous
development of the internet and other interactive computer services and other
interactive media and to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that
presently exists for the internet and other interactive computer services
unfettered by Federal or State regulation” (Pai, Carr, 2017). Because online
traffic is exploding, and “we consume exponentially more data over time, innovators
and entrepreneurs must grow startups into global giants, and therefore make
America’s Internet economy the envy of the world” (Pai, Carr, 2017). Under
Titlte II, investment in high-speed networks has deteriorated. Wireless
Internet Service Providers Association, representing fixed wireless “companies
that typically operate in rural America”, surveyed its members and discovered
that over 79% “incurred additional expense in complying with Title II rules,
had delayed or reduced network expansion, had delayed or reduced services and
had allocated budget to comply with the rules. Nearly two dozen small providers
submitted a letter saying the FCC’s heavy-handed rules “affect our ability to
find financing” (Pai, Carr, 2017). These are the types of companies that are to
be taken in consideration for providing more competitive market. With technology
growth, consumers are imposing increasing demands on the network. Networks must
be re-scaled to satisfy consumers demand soon or later.

How is technology
driving problem for classifying BIAS? A strong understanding of technology role
is important. “Broadband Internet Service Access” is defined to be an
information service under the Act. Section 3 of the Act defines an “information
service” as “the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing,
transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing or making available information
via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not
include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or
operation of a telecommunication system or the management of a
telecommunications service”. Still, section 3 defines a “telecommunications
service as the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public,
or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the
public, regardless of the facilities used.” Likewise, BIAS provide information
processing functionalities itself, such as DNS and caching, which satisfy the
capabilities set forth in the information service definition.” It has been
proven that the BIAS as it is offered today most soundly, leads to the
conclusion that it is an “information service” (FCC, 2018, p. 10).

To solve the statutory ambiguity, it
is proven that “information service” encompasses BIAS. Because BIAS has “the
capacity or potential ability to be used, to engage in the activities within
the information service” – “generating, acquiring, storing, transforming,
processing retrieving, utilizing or making available information via
telecommunication” – we conclude that it is best to have those “capabilities.”
These are not “merely incidental” uses of BIAS, because it is not only “the
capacity to be used” for these particular purposes, but was designed and
intended to do so, BIAS is best interpreted as providing customers with the
“capability” for such action with third party providers (FCC, 2018, p. 13).

BIAS is an “information
service irrespective of whether it provides the entirety of any end user
functionality or whether it provides end user functionality in tandem with edge
providers” (FCC, 2018, p. 13).

Net neutrality in
its Tittle II had many ambiguities regarding information and telecommunication
services. Many of us ignore or can not interpret the content of the
Communication Act. Therefore, it is not surprising to record resentments regarding
net neutrality regulation. Repealing Title II and reversing BIAS as an
information service will bring faster, better, and cheaper Internet access to
all Americans. Time is arrived to return to the bipartisan regulatory framework
under which the Internet flourished prior to 2015.

References:

FCC Federal Communications Commission
17-166. (January 4, 2018). “Restoring            InternetFreedom.”

Pai, Carr. (December 14, 2017). “Statements for Repealing Net Neutrality.”
Retrieve from             https://www.recode.net/2017/12/14/16777356/full-transcript-ajit-pai-brendan-carr-fcc-      statements-net-neutrality-repeal

 

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