This paper authored by Fred Campbell was filed yesterday at the Federal Communications Commission in General Docket No. 14-28.* The complete paper can be downloaded HERE.
The FCC lacks authority to classify broadband Internet services as “telecommunications services,” because broadband transmissions are not “telecommunications.” The definition of “telecommunications” in 47 U.S.C. § 153(50) distinguishes between (1) plain old telephone services (POTS) that are interconnected with the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and (2) packet switched services that are not interconnected with the PSTN. When determining whether a particular service is subject to common carriage obligations, arguments about the ownership of the underlying network facilities, “gatekeepers,” and innovation are definitionally irrelevant. A transmission is “telecommunications” with in the meaning of 47 U.S.C. § 153(50) only if the transmission is capable of communicating with all circuit switched devices on the PSTN. Read More