Report: FCC Considering Reclassifying Broadband Providers as ‘Common Carriers’

According to this U.S. News report, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is seriously considering reclassifying broadband internet services in the United States as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

What is moving Wheeler in that direction? While that part of the story is unknown, some believe a letter sent to Wheeler last month from several prominent Democratic senators – including Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D- Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) – has a lot to do with it.

While Democrats and consumer advocacy groups will likely find this news to be heartening and a major victory (if it comes to fruition, of course) in the battle to create net neutrality rules that can stand a legal challenge in court, Republicans and telecoms will not be happy with this news at all.

The FCC announced plans last month to host a series of round-table discussions on net neutrality in September and October, though some lawmakers later urged the agency to host at least a couple of those meetings outside the bubble of Washington D.C. where they might find some regular people (read: people that aren't stakeholders, lobbyists, or politicians).

The FCC decided that more discussions on the topic were needed after the public comment period for the latest proposed changes to the Open Internet Order of 2010 generated more than 1.1 million public comments.

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