Open Internet Order Published — Triggers Appeal Deadline, June 12, 2015 Effective Date

By Marty Stern and Stephen J. Matzura

The FCC’s Open Internet order was published today in the Federal Register, kicking off the 60-day deadline to appeal the rules to a federal circuit court of appeals (or seek reconsideration before the FCC).   As we previously discussed, some parties have already filed appeals in various circuits, which have been consolidated in the D.C. Circuit.

Significantly, with publication in the Federal Register, key aspects of the rules go into effect in 60 days, on June 12, 2015, including reclassification of broadband Internet access as a Title II service, as well as the no blocking, no throttling, paid prioritization, and enforcement/complaint provisions of the Open Internet order.

In addition, as of that date, broadband providers will be subject to the consumer privacy requirements of the Communications Act, which, as we discussed in a post last year and as reflected in a $25 million consent decree released last week, have been the focus of stepped-up enforcement activity by the FCC.   In addition, as of the effective date, it appears that the Federal Trade Commission will be divested of its jurisdiction under Section 5 of the FTC Act over the practices of wireline and mobile broadband providers that will be subject to the FCC’s Title II jurisdiction.

Still other provisions of the Open Internet order, such as the enhanced transparency rules that impose additional customer disclosure requirements, must await review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act.  If and when those additional requirements are approved, the FCC will publish a separate Federal Register notice to announce when they will become effective.

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