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For better or worse, you decide, the FCC is challenged when adopting policies or making decisions that impact enterprise customers. This is the second of two entries on enterprise customers and the FCC.

IP Transition. Responding to persistent calls from AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink, the FCC is in the midst of setting the ground rules for telecom carriers to migrate from copper networks and TDM services to fiber networks and all-IP services, consistent with Section 214 of the Act which requires the FCC to balance carriers’ and end-users’ (residential, SMB and enterprise) interests as carriers seek to discontinue existing services and facilities.
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For better or worse, you decide, the FCC is challenged when adopting policies or making decisions that impact enterprise customers.  This is the first of two entries on enterprise customers and the FCC.

Open Internet Order
.  With no explanation, the FCC excluded high speed Internet access service sold to enterprise customers from the rules

This year’s mergers-and-acquisitions boom is re-shaping industries and contributing handsomely to the bottom lines of leading investment banks. One statutory provision triggered in many transactions–not just those involving major wireless or satellite broadcasting companies–is Section 310(d) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. This provision requires that the FCC grant its prior consent to the assignment of radio station licenses or the transfer of control of a radio station licensee.
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The entry summarizes the major elements of the Open Internet Order.  An analysis of the FCC’s policy determinations and reasoning for regulating broadband internet access service as a Title II telecommunications service will be provided in a later entry.   

Broadband Internet Access Service Defined.  The Open Internet rules apply to “broadband Internet access service”

The FCC’s Monthly Meeting scheduled for 26 February 2015 is both widely-anticipated and one in series of continuing events.  The FCC will likely adopt its net neutrality order and order preempting certain state restrictions on municipal broadband by 3-2 votes.  Both decisions will be appealed.

The immediate questions are whether the net neutrality rules will

At the CES Conference earlier this month, Chairman Wheeler signaled the FCC would adopt net neutrality rules, including a ban on paid prioritization, consistent with President Obama’s blog post from November. These remarks were noteworthy because the Chairman stated he would circulate a draft net neutrality order for adoption at the February Commission Meeting that would rely on Title II of the Communications Act as authority for the anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules that the D.C. Court of Appeals struck down last January in Verizon v. FCC.
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Few FCC issues have elicited the sustained attention of the general public, public interest groups of all persuasions, the media, and the cable, telco and wireless industries as Net Neutrality. It is one of those rare issues that can drive a united front among the major Internet services providers.
In parallel, the Commission, guided by the Chairman and with the Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis doing the heavy lifting, is in the midst of significant, though less widely reported, efforts to address a far more pressing issue for many of the country’s rural communities: For all intents and purposes, these communities do not have broadband services and find themselves on the wrong side of the “Digital Divide.”
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