Broadband & Sec 706
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"The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-104) addressed the issue of whether the federal government should intervene to prevent a “digital divide” in broadband access. Section 706 requires the FCC to determine whether “advanced telecommunications capability [i.e., broadband or high-speed access] is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” If this is not the case, the act directs the FCC to “take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.”" --Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Backbround Issues, CRS Report for Congress, Nov. 21, 2008 (copy acquired through wikileaks)
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, § 706(a), 110 Stat. 56, 153
(a) In General: The Commission and each State commission with regulatory jurisdiction over telecommunications services shall encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) by utilizing, in a manner consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity, price cap regulation, regulatory forbearance, measures that promote competition in the local telecommunications market, or other regulating methods that remove barriers to infrastructure investment.
(b) Inquiry: The Commission shall, within 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and regularly thereafter, initiate a notice of inquiry concerning the availability of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans (including, in particular, elementary and secondary schools and classrooms) and shall complete the inquiry within 180 days after its initiation. In the inquiry, the Commission shall determine whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the Commission's determination is negative, it shall take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.
(c) Definitions: For purposes of this subsection:
(1) Advanced telecommunications capability: The term 'advanced telecommunications capability' is defined, without regard to any transmission media or technology, as high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology.
(2) Elementary and secondary schools: The term 'elementary and secondary schools' means elementary and secondary schools, as defined in paragraphs (14) and (25), respectively, of section 14101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 8801)
Pursuant to Sec. 706, the FCC has taken two primary actions. First, the FCC has engaged in a series of inquiries that have resulted in reports to Congress. Second, the FCC gathers data from telecommunications services on an ongoing basis and releases data reports to the public twice a year. The Sec. 706 Reports have considered a wide range of issues:
- Prior to First Report
- Before the First Inquiry was released, multiple parties petitioned the FCC both for regulatory relief as well as for open access.
- First Report
- Second Report
- Third Report
- Fourth Report
- Unlike the other reports, the Fourth was a slick publication looking more like a corporate annual report than a government document, released at the close of the Powell Chairmanship
- Fifth Report
- Sixth Report
Authority to Act
Through out the Sec. 706 proceedings, parties had petitioned the FCC to take action in light of some problem in the deployment of advanced services to all Americans. The FCC repeated responded that Sec. 706 confers the FCC with the authority to report, but is not authority to take regulatory action.
- “section 706(a) does not constitute an independent grant of forbearance authority or of authority to employ other regulating methods.” Advanced Services Order, 13 F.C.C.R. at 24044 ¶ 69 (1998).
The FCC first sought to assert that Sec. 706 granted it authority to act in the Comcast case where the FCC sought to enforce the Four Broadband Principles. However, the D.C. Circuit concluded that the FCC was bound by its own decision in the Advanced Services Order that Sec. 706 granted it no such authority, and there had been no APA proceeding to change that conclusion.
- Sec. 706 “‘does not constitute an independent grant of authority.’” Comcast, 600 F.3d at 658 (quoting Advanced Services Order, 13 F.C.C.R. at 24047 ¶ 77 (1998)) ...Because the Commission had “never questioned, let alone overruled, that understanding of section 706,” it “remain[ed] bound” by its prior interpretation. Comcast, 600 F.3d at 659.
- Verizon, Slip at 19 (D.C. Cir. 2014).
In the Open Internet proceeding, the FCC again concluded that Sec. 706 does confer it with authority to take action. On appeal, the D.C. Circuit uphelp with the FCC's interpretation under Chevron (although the court also reversed the FCC, holding that the FCC cannot treat ISPs as common carriers (non discrimination) where the FCC has concluded that they are not common carriers).
The NPRM seeks comment on whether to modify collection of speed tier information and how to improve the data collected about wireless broadband Internet access service. The NPRM also asks how the Commission can best collect information about subscribership to interconnected voice over Internet Protocol service, or VoIP. Finally, the NPRM also seeks comment on how the Commission can develop a more accurate picture of current broadband deployment (including by extrapolating from more accurate estimates of representative urban, metropolitan, urban, low-income, tribal, and rural areas), as well as gather information on price, other factors that affect consumer uptake of broadband services, and international comparisons.
- Commerce Committee Approves Inouye Broadband Data Collection Bill, Senate 7/22/2007
Released: 01/14/2005. FCC ANNOUNCES ELECTRONIC POSTING OF FCC FORM 477 (LOCAL COMPETITION AND BROADBAND REPORTING) FOR THE MARCH 1, 2005 FILING. (DA No. 05-81). WCB. Contact: James Eisner or Ellen Burton , FCC 1/14/2005
11/9/04FCC Improves Data Collection to Monitor Nationwide Broadband Rollout.
News Release: Word | Acrobat
MO&O (11/12/04): Word | Acrobat
Powell Statement: Word | Acrobat
Copps Statement: Word | Acrobat
Adelstein Statement: Word | Acrobat
- Released: 07/01/2010. Fcc Staff To Hold Meeting To Discuss Residential Fixed Broadband Services Testing And Measurement Solution. (DA No. 10-1249). (Dkt No 04-36 09-158 98-179 ). OET .
Measuring Broadband America Reports
- FCC RELEASES THIRD "MEASURING BROADBAND AMERICA" REPORT; NATIONWIDE TEST OF WIRELINE BROADBAND SERVICE REVEALS IMPROVED BROADBAND PERFORMANCE, MIGRATION TO HIGHER SPEED TIERS. Report includes results of satellite-based broadband performance for first time. News Release. OCHJG TXT
- Released: 09/26/2012. ANNOUNCEMENT OF OPEN DOCKET FOR MEASURING BROADBAND AMERICA PROGRAM. (DA No. 12-1530). (Dkt No 12-264 ). OET . TXT
- FCC RELEASES SECOND "MEASURING BROADBAND AMERICA" REPORT; NATIONWIDE TEST OF WIRELINE BROADBAND SERVICE REVEALS IMPROVED BROADBAND PERFORMANCE. News Release. OCHJG TXT
- MEASURING BROADBAND AMERICA: A REPORT ON CONSUMER BROADBAND PERFORMANCE IN THE US. Results of nationwide performance study of residential wireline broadband service in the US by REPORT. CGB OET TXT TXT
- FCC UNVEILS NEW RESEARCH THAT MEASURED BROADBAND PERFORMANCE. Fact Sheet on first nationwide test of residential wireline broadband service. FACT SHEET CGB TXT
Papers / Reports
- BITAG, Report on Real-Time Network Management of Internet Congestion (January 2014)
- Steven Bauer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Clark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bill Lehr - Massachusetts Institute of Technology Understanding Broadband Speed Measurements TPRC 2010
- William Lehr, Tony Smith-Grievo "Measurement and Assessment of Broadband Availability," report prepared for John Adams Innovation Institute of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, January 2009
- Latency, Jitter, Packet Loss (congestion)
- Application tolerance: (delay intolerant voice - jitter intolerant streaming video - loss intolerant web browsing - tolerant email)
- Insufficient transmission capacity (edge home, access ISP, core backbone); insufficient interconnection capacity; lack of interconnection; server capacity; client computer capacity; misconfigurations (DNS, BGP); DOS
- Increase capacity, CDN, caching, time-shifting traffic, compression, traffic shaping, traffic engineering, intserv, diffserv, prioritization, resource reservation, adaptive bit rate streaming
Criticism of FCC Reports