Paul J. Feldman on FCC’s Notice of Inquiry

An article in CommLawBlog notes the FCC has announced that, at its open meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2010, it will take up a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) to consider “possible legal frameworks” for regulation of broadband Internet services.

Writer Paul J. Feldman notes that letters  from 74 House Democrats and 37 Senate Republicans oppose the “third-way” approach favored by FCC bigs. He comments that, for all its efforts, the FCC may be back to the drawing board on NN:

Also notable is the FCC’s release of an NOI, rather than a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) setting out specific proposals for specific rules. The use of an NOI suggests the Commission is acting tentatively (or wants to appear that way). This is probably appropriate, in light of bipartisan resistance from Congress, as well as from ISPs. Moreover, the NOI calls into question the status of the FCC’s October 2009 NPRM on “Open Internet”/net neutrality rules.  That NPRM was premised on the same Title I “ancillary authority” that the Comcast decision disfavored. Will the NOI merely look to the jurisdictional question, with the FCC plugging that answer into its existing Open Internet substantive proposals? More likely, the substance of those proposals will have to evolve in light of the jurisdictional resolution. The new “third-way” Title II context may require tweaking the six Open Internet rules proposed last October, or even dropping some of those and adding new ones.