Broadband Internet Access Service Is a Telecommunications Service

By Jordan, Scott | Federal Communications Law Journal, May 2019 | Go to article overview

Broadband Internet Access Service Is a Telecommunications Service


Jordan, Scott, Federal Communications Law Journal


Table of Contents     I.  Introduction                                   157   II.  Telecommunications Service        Versus Information Service                     161         A. NARUC I & NARUC II (1976)                  161         B. Computer II (1980)                         162         C. Modification of Final Judgement (1982)     168         D. Telecommunications Act of 1996             173         E. Non-Accounting Safeguards Order (1996)     177  III.  Precursors to Dial-up Internet Access Service  179         A. United States v. Western Electric (1987)   179         B. Gateway Services Order (1988)              182         C. United States v. Western Electric (1990)   184   IV.  The Architecture of Dial-Up        Internet Access and        Broadband Internet Access                      184         A. Internet Services and Layers               185         B. Geography of the Internet                  188         C. Separability of Network Services           191    V.  Dial-up Internet Access Service                193         A. Universal Service Order (1997)             193         B. Stevens Report (1998)                      193            1. Telecommunications,               Telecommunications Services, and               Information Services                    194            2. Dial-up Internet Access Service         195   VI.  Early Broadband Internet Access Service        199         A. Advanced Services Order (1998)            & Advanced Services Remand            Order (1999)                               200         B. Cable Modem Declaratory Ruling (2002)      204         C. Brand X (2005)                             210         D. Wireline Broadband            Classification Order (2005)                213  VII.  Broadband Internet Access Service              219         A. Open Internet Order (2015)                 219         B. US Telecom v. FCC (2016)                   225 VIII.  Analysis of the Restoring Internet        Freedom Order (2017)                           226         A. Definition and Scope of Broadband            Internet Access Service                    226            1. Functionality of Broadband               Internet Access Service                 226            2. Geographic Scope of               Broadband Internet Access Service       230         B. The Telecommunications Component            of Broadband Internet            Access Service                             232         C. Information Service Capabilities            of Broadband Internet Access            Service                                    234            1. Applications Bundled with               Broadband Internet Access               Service That Under the 2015               Open Internet Order Fall               Within the Telecommunications               Systems Management               Exception                               235            2. Applications Bundled with               Broadband Internet Access               Service That Under the 2015               Open Internet Order Do               Not Fall Within the               Telecommunications Systems               Management Exception                    243            3. Edge Provider Applications              243         D. Separability of the            Telecommunications            Component of Broadband            Internet Access            Service from            Information Service            Capabilities of            the Service.                               247 

I. INTRODUCTION

In December 2017, in the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, (1) the FCC reclassified broadband Internet access service from a telecommunications service to an information service. The justification for the reclassification rests primarily on a reinterpretation of relevant statute. The purpose of this paper is to examine and evaluate this interpretation and reclassification in the context of the relevant precedent.

The Restoring Internet Freedom Order first reinterprets broadband Internet access service, (2) which was defined in the 2015 Open Internet Order. …

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