VOL. 13, NO. 17
May 1, 2017

May 3
TPx's Ken Bisnoff Recognized as CRN Channel Chief
D.C. Circuit Upholds
FCC's Net Neutrality Rules
Earlier today, the D.C. Circuit Court once again upheld the FCC's net neutrality rules, denying the request of the ISPs for the entire court to rehear the case.

In reaction to the court's decision, INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said in a statement: "Add another legal victory to existing Open Internet laws that have paved the way for a streaming revolution. Today's D.C. Circuit decision validates what consumers, creators and the market already know: Net Neutrality is a win for investment and innovation."

He added that "since the Open Internet laws went into place, streaming has taken off and creators have more opportunity and consumers have more choices. Investment is up, and the same companies who are attacking net neutrality are posting record profits. Today's court decision is a significant blow to those who want to take away Open Internet protections, raise prices and cut off the streaming revolution. The FCC and the courts have spent a significant amount of time and effort over more than a decade on various Open Internet policies, and the current law has shown itself to be both legally sustainable and market effective."
FCC's Pai Proposes Rolling Back Open Internet Protections 
On April 26, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a speech on The Future of Internet Freedom at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., during which he outlined his plans to roll back Open Internet protections at the Commission's May 18 Open Meeting. He also released two fact sheets: Restoring Internet Freedom for All Americans and Internet Regulations: Myths vs. Facts.

In response, INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering, said, "A free and open Internet benefits individual Americans, small businesses and start ups, conservative news outlets and faith-based services, streaming services and social media platforms. Any effort to weaken Open Internet protections must be rejected as it could toss the streaming and Internet economy back into chaos, taking consumers back to a time when ISPs, like Comcast throttled Netflix ,and consumers had to buffer their way through a binge."

"We believe the risks of FCC action far outweigh any reward. Thankfully, Chairman Pai will conduct a public comment period, and we are willing to work with all stakeholders to achieve and maintain objectives that protect a free and Open Internet," he added "But INCOMPAS will fight and oppose any effort to harm Americans' abilities to access the content of their choice and weaken the most successful economic and free expression policy in American history."

Responses to Pai's announcement came from both Republican and Democratic members. A joint House/Senate Commerce Committee statement in support of Pai's actions came from Chairmen Walden, Thune, Blackburn and Wicker.

House Energy and Commerce Democrats held a press conference, along with FCC Commissioner Mingon Clyburn, to express their opposition to Pai's plans. Commissioner Clyburn, along with Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, also issued a statement that noted, that "if adopted, Chairman Pai's proposal will harm competition and innovation and will leave consumers without any real protection or oversight by either the FTC or FCC for broadband services."
FCC Releases BDS Order
and Related Public Notices
On April 28, the FCC released its Business Data Service (BDS) Order, a Public Notice for obtaining the unredacted version of the Order, and a Public Notice proposing to publicly release the lists of those counties where lower speed business data services will be deemed competitive, non-competitive, or grandfathered pursuant to the BDS Order.

The first PN explains who may obtain access to the unredacted version of the Order and the process by which they must go through for such access. In short, only outside counsel and consultants, not involved in competitive decision-making, as those terms are defined in the protective orders, and who have signed all the protective orders may access the unredacted version of the Order.

As for the second PN, it states, in part that "[w]hile publicly designating a county as competitive, non-competitive, or grandfathered would not directly release any confidential location data to the public, it could, in at least some instances, allow competitors to determine, in combination with their own knowledge, information about the percentage of locations able to be served by individual providers against which they compete. This information has been designated as competitively sensitive and, in accordance with established Commission procedures, we are therefore giving affected providers notice and an opportunity to object before we publicly release it."

Affected parties have 10 business days from the date of the release of this Notice to object to the release of their own data. The deadline for filing such objections is May 11, 2017. Parties objecting must explain why publicly identifying whether a county is competitive, non-competitive or grandfathered will reveal information they have not already made available to the public and will harm them competitively, including a description of the extent of that harm. If the Commission receives no objections, it will publicly release the lists of counties on May 12, 2017.
FCC Announces May 18
Open Meeting Agenda
The FCC released the tentative agenda for its May Open Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, May 18:
  • Satellite Earth Stations in Motion
  • Part 95 Reform
  • Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative
  • Proposed Elimination of Main Studio Rule
  • Restoring Internet Freedom
  • Connect America Fund
Continuing the Chairman's pilot program, the FCC is publicly releasing the draft text of each item expected to be considered at the next Open Commission
Meeting. All these materials will be available on the event page for the Open Meeting

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Open Meetings are streamed live and can be followed on social media with #OpenMtgFCC.
This Wednesday, May 3: Sharetracker IoT Webinar 
Join us this Wednesday, May 3 at 1 p.m. ET for a  Brown Bag webinar hosted by INCOMPAS and ShareTracker featuring the early returns of recent Internet of Things (IoT) research. 

The webinar will examine results from ShareTracker's quarterly research project, designed to track IoT emergence and market share trends. The Q4 2016 study found that traditional internet-connected devices, including PC,s, laptops and cell phones account for 56 percent residential IoT devices, once the most common connected devices (routers/access points) are removed from the calculation. Printers and smart TVs follow, both accounting for 14 percent of the device family share. Security, entertainment, energy management, gaming and automotive round out the devices the devices families measured.

ShareTracker will review the results of this research project in an effort to keep INCOMPAS members abreast of a topic that can impact their businesses. Register today.