Although the DC Circuit's recent decision in Comcast v. FCC has raised significant questions concerning the Commission's jurisdiction over Internet access (read the DWT Advisory on the case), the Commission has moved forward with releasing a comprehensive schedule that proposes over 60 proceedings, workshops and other efforts to implement the recommendations in the Broadband Plan. The schedule anticipates the release of 16 reports and orders by the end of 2010 alonw, nine of which are expected to be released in the second quarter, in addition to numerous other proposed NPRMs, NOIs and FNPRMs. Some notable issues to be considered this year include pole attachments, TV white spaces, hearing aid compatibility and a clarification on interconnection. The FCC also intends to initiate an NPRM on CableCARD and an NOI on smart video devices in the second quarter of 2010, as well as NPRMs on USF, texting, intercarrier compensation and smart video devices by the end of 2010.
The 2010 schedule and the more comprehensive agenda which discusses the 60+ proposed action items, are available on the FCC’s broadband.gov website. However, like the FCC's March 31 tentative agenda, this comprehensive agenda still only offers teasers of what to expect in the upcoming proceedings, so there is not much more to report than what is available. (You can, in the meantime, refer to DWT’s Advisory on the Broadband Plan for more detailed analyses of the issues.)
The Chairman also took this opportunity to respond to reports that the DC Circuit's decision could derail the FCC’s broadband agenda. The Chairman is quoted as saying that the court’s decision “does not change our broadband policy goals, or the ultimate authority of the FCC to act to achieve those goals.” That, of course, remains to be seen -- as we concluded in our DWT Advisory, the court’s ruling likely sets the stage for further rulemakings, court cases and federal legislation to address, and clarify, the FCC’s regulatory role in high-speed Internet access, including a potential showdown on placing the Internet under Title II regulation.