|Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC CLASSIFIES CABLE MODEM SERVICE AS "INFORMATION SERVICE"
Initiates Proceeding to Promote Broadband Deployment and Examine Regulatory Implications of Classification
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted
another major rulemaking, part of a series of actions, designed to promote widespread deployment
of broadband services. The FCC settled a debate over the regulatory classification of cable modem
service and launched a proceeding to examine the proper regulatory treatment of this service.|
In a Declaratory Ruling adopted today, the FCC concluded that cable modem service is properly classified as an interstate information service and is therefore subject to FCC jurisdiction. The FCC determined that cable modem service is not a "cable service" as defined by the Communications Act. The FCC also said that cable modem service does not contain a separate "telecommunications service" offering and therefore is not subject to common carrier regulation.
The FCC also adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to examine:
The FCC said that the ultimate resolution of this item will promote broadband deployment, which should result in better quality, lower prices and more choices for consumers. In considering the issues raised by the original Cable Modem NOI and today's Notice, the FCC is guided by the following principles and policy goals:
With respect to state and local issues, the Notice makes three significant tentative conclusions:
Regarding franchise fees, the FCC notes that the law limits franchise fees to 5 percent of the gross revenues the cable operator receives from cable service. The FCC said that revenues from cable modem service should not be used in computing this franchise fee ceiling.
Today's decision follows five other related proceedings - the Cable Modem NOI, the National Performance Measures NPRM, the Incumbent LEC Broadband Notice, the Triennial UNE Review Notice and, most recently, the Wireline Broadband NPRM. These proceedings, together with today's actions, are intended to build the foundation for a comprehensive and consistent national broadband policy.
CS Docket 00-185
Action by the Commission March 14, 2002, by Declaratory Ruling and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 02-77). Chairman Powell, Commissioners Abernathy and Martin, with Commissioner Copps dissenting, and Chairman Powell, Commissioners Abernathy and Copps issuing separate statements.
Cable Service Bureau contacts: Sarah Whitesell, Royce Sherlock, Peggy Greene at 202-418-7200.
on the Commission's web site www.fcc.gov.