You’ve probably noticed – or likely soon will – that the latest phase of the more than a decade-long fight over “net neutrality” regulations has begun at the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has released the text of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that the Commission on which the Commission vote on May 18.
The Commission says its NPRM proposes “to restore the Internet to a light-touch regulatory framework by classifying broadband Internet access service as an information service and by seeking comment on the existing rules governing Internet service providers’ practices.” [Read More]
On March 20, I published a commentary, “A Proposal for Improving the FCC’s Merger Review Process,” suggesting that the newly-reconstituted Federal Communications Commission, with Ajit Pai as its new Chairman, issue a policy statement that clearly indicates the manner in which, going forward, it intends to conduct merger reviews. This piece is the latest in a series of Free State Foundation commentaries, all published since the beginning of this year, containing fresh proposals for reforming communications policies. [Read More]
In July 2011, President Barack Obama actually issued an executive order that, at least on paper, makes good sense. It’s Executive Order 13579, ‘Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,’ urging independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission to establish plans for periodic retrospective reviews aimed at eliminating outmoded regulations.
E.O. 13579 followed on the heels of an earlier Obama executive order requiring executive branch agencies to engage in retrospective reviews to eliminate outdated, no longer necessary regulations. In the case of so-called independent agencies, President Obama (supposedly) could not “order” that the agencies undertake retrospective reviews, so E.O. 13579 simply “urges” them to do so. [Read More]
Check out Randy May of the Free State Foundation's thoughts on the FCC and Constitution Day:
Constitution Day officially is September 17, 2016. This year marks 229 years since the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia.
Not many people celebrate Constitution Day, but I've always thought it worthy of commemoration. It's an opportunity to take a moment - or maybe more than a moment - to think about the Constitution's meaning and its relevance to today's issues.
Over the years, I've written often about the ways the FCC's actions implicate constitutional strictures and constitutional values. Because the FCC regulates media, communications, information services, and now the Internet, it is not surprising that many of the agency's actions implicate the First Amendment's free speech guarantee.
While many of the FCC's actions present a target-rich environment, today I want to focus on just one current proceeding that implicates several different constitutional provisions - and that appears to run up against constitutional constraints.
On August 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the Federal Communications Commission's Municipal Broadband Preemption Order (2015). Among many candidates, the FCC’s order ranks as one of the most far-reaching and far-fetched attempted power grabs in the agency’s history. Thankfully, in Tennessee v. FCC (2016), the Sixth Circuit refused the agency's bold attempt to exceed its lawful bounds. [Read More]