Monday, May 08, 2006

Net Neutrality Bills in Congress - update

In the House, Inslee and Blackburn have introduced their bill, the American Broadband for Communities Act: In the Senate, we have the two bills S. 2327 and S. 2332, and now Senator Stevens has included unlicensed spectrum in his new massive telecom bill. It's called the Communications, Consumers' Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006. It would require the FCC, within 270 days of passage, to finish the pending white spaces proceeding. It says that within 270 days, “a certified unlicensed device may use eligible broadcast television frequencies in a manner that protects licensees from harmful interference.” It also, as I understand, would extend USF to broadband though I don't yet have an analysis of this section. Much of USF implementation would be dealt with at the FCC. USF is not included in the big House telecom bill: The question now is what happens with these two massive telecom bills and the separate unlicensed bill in the House.

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