Net Neutrality NPRM Rebooted in Contentious FCC Vote; Comments Due December 14

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The fully restored five-commissioner FCC voted to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that largely revives the net neutrality rules that were adopted in 2015 and then repealed in 2017. This time around, the FCC justifies the need for net neutrality rules based on post-COVID pandemic, national security, and public safety reasons. As was done in 2015, the proposed rules are rooted in broadband reclassified under Title II of the Communications Act of 1936, as amended, and would fall into a “light touch” regulatory framework that includes both bright line rules and areas of forbearance. The Commission vote fell along party lines, with Commissioner statements offering political rhetoric that echoed the debate during the Obama and Trump administrations as to whether regulations are needed to ensure that broadband providers preserve a free and open internet. The NPRM provides a lengthy comment cycle, with a comment deadline of December 14, 2023 and a reply comment deadline of January 17, 2024.

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