• The Open Internet rules, published on September 23, 2011, now face several legal challenges. As reported last week, Free Press appealed the rules in order to remove the distinction between wireline and wireless broadband networks. Several other organizations have followed suit, including Media Mobilizing Project, Access Humboldt, and Mountain Area Information Network, all of which are being represented by the Media Access Project. On September 30, Verizon appealed the rules in two separate cases, seeking full reversal. On October 5, Public Knowledge moved to intervene in the Verizon appeals on behalf of the FCC. The FCC filed a motion to dismiss one of Verizon’s appeals on October 6. Also on October 6, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced that the D.C. Circuit was assigned the consolidated appeals via lottery.
  • On October 6, 2011, Chairman Genachowski gave a speech previewing the reforms being considering in the Connect America Fund (“CAF”) order that is scheduled for vote at the October 27 Open Meeting. Highlighting the importance of broadband to rural America, the Chairman promised that the reforms will bring broadband to millions of consumers by modernizing USF and the intercarrier compensation system. The reforms were described generally by the Chairman as a transition from USF to the CAF, which will be capped. As to intercarrier compensation, the Chairman promised to eliminate “loopholes” and “arbitrage,” as well as to ensure “symmetry” for the compensation of VoIP traffic. Access rates will be phased down over time, starting with terminating access charges. The Chairman also promised to facilitate efficient interconnection in an IP world. The written text of the speech may be found here.