Regulation of the Internet and Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS)
FCC Policy Statement
(August 5, 2005)
(October 22, 2009)
Verizon Google Proposal
(August 9, 2010)
|"consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice"||"Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from sending or receiving the lawful content of the user's choice over the Internet."||Non-wireless BIAS providers are prohibited from preventing their users from "sending and receiving lawful content of their choice".|
|"consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement"||"Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from running the lawful applications or using the lawful services of the user's choice."||Non-wireless BIAS providers are prohibited from preventing their users from "running lawful applications and using lawful services of their choice".|
|"consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network"||"Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not prevent any of its users from connecting to and using on its network the userís choice of lawful devices that do not harm the network.||Non-wireless BIAS providers are prohibited from preventing their users from "connecting their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network or service, facilitate theft of service, or harm other users of the service".|
|Competition||"consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers"||Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service may not deprive any of its users of the userís entitlement to competition among network providers, application providers, service providers, and content providers."|
|Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service must treat lawful content, applications, and services in a nondiscriminatory manner.||Non-wireless BIAS providers are "prohibited from engaging in undue discrimination against any lawful Internet content, application, or service in a manner that causes meaningful harm to competition or to users."|
|"Prioritization of Internet traffic would be presumed inconsistent
with the non-discrimination standard, but the presumption could be rebutted."
"A provider that offers a broadband Internet access service complying with the above principles could offer any other additional or differentiated services. Such other services would have to be distinguishable in scope and purpose from broadband Internet access service, but could make use of or access Internet content, applications or services and could include traffic prioritization."
This proposal offers no definition of "differentiated services".
The definition of "reasonable network management practices" includes "to prioritize general classes or types of Internet traffic". (See, below.)
|Transparency||"Subject to reasonable network management, a provider of broadband Internet access service must disclose such information concerning network management and other practices as is reasonably required for users and content, application, and service providers to enjoy the protections specified in this part."||All BIAS providers, including wireless, are "required to disclose accurate and relevant information in plain language about the characteristics and capabilities of their offerings, their broadband network management, and other practices necessary for consumers and other users to make informed choices."|
|The Policy Statement adds in a footnote that "The principles we adopt are subject to reasonable network management."||Reasonable network management consists of:
(a) reasonable practices employed by a provider of broadband Internet access service to:
(i) reduce or mitigate the effects of congestion on its network or to address quality-of-service concerns;
(ii) address traffic that is unwanted by users or harmful;
(iii) prevent the transfer of unlawful content; or
(iv) prevent the unlawful transfer of content; and
(b) other reasonable network management practices.
|BIAS providers "are permitted to engage in reasonable network management. Reasonable network management includes any technically sound practice: to reduce or mitigate the effects of congestion on its network; to ensure network security or integrity; to address traffic that is unwanted by or harmful to users, the provider's network, or the Internet; to ensure service quality to a subscriber; to provide services or capabilities consistent with a consumerís choices; that is consistent with the technical requirements, standards, or best practices adopted by an independent, widely-recognized Internet community governance initiative or standard-setting organization; to prioritize general classes or types of Internet traffic, based on latency; or otherwise to manage the daily operation of its network."|
|Enforcement||The Policy Statement is silent. The Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's attempt to regulation network management practices. See, story titled "Court of Appeals Vacates FCC's Comcast Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,072, April 7, 2010.||"The FCC would enforce the consumer protection and nondiscrimination
requirements through case-by-case adjudication, but would have no rulemaking
authority with respect to those provisions."
"The FCC could grant injunctive belief for violations of the consumer protection and non-discrimination provisions. The FCC would impose a forfeiture of up to $2,000,000 for knowing violations of the consumer-protection or non-discrimination provisions. The proposed framework would not affect rights or obligations under existing Federal or State laws that generally apply to businesses, and would not create any new private right of action."
BIAS "and traffic or services using Internet protocol would be considered exclusively interstate in nature" and the FCC "would have exclusive authority to oversee" BIAS.
(1) Expand the FCC's universal tax and subsidy program to cover broadband.
(2) Subject BIAS providers to disability access requirements.
(1) This chart authored on August 9, 2010.
(2) See, "Text of Proposed Internet Regulation Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2.008, October 23, 2009.