FCC opens formal inquiry on legal framework for broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened a formal inquiry seeking comments on its recently released proposal to revamp its regulation of the Internet and Internet services.

In a Notice of Inquiry issued in June, the Commission has requested comments on a new regulatory framework for broadband Internet services, first outlined by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in May. In brief, Genachowski’s so-called “third-way” to regulating the Internet reportedly attempts to strike a balance between the Commission’s current regulatory framework and a more highly regulated scenario by creating a precise policy for the regulation of broadband services.

The Commission’s long-standing approach to regulating broadband Internet services was struck a significant blow in April, when the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that the Commission exceeded its statutory authority when it sanctioned Comcast Corporation back in 2008. The Court, in overturning the Commission’s action against Comcast, ruled that Congress had not accorded the FCC the power to regulate the network management practices of Internet service providers.

Comments on the Commission’s Notice of Inquiry were due by July 15th. View the FCC’s complete text of the Notice of Inquiry regarding legal framework for broadband.