Thursday, March 26, 2009

Information or Telecommunication Service?

I originally wrote this entry on August 30, 2004, and published it on

The government has appealed to the Supreme Court a Ninth Circuit Court ruling on cable services that required the FCC to regulate them as telecommunications services.

Last October, the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, found unwarranted the FCC characterization of cable high-speed Internet services as unregulated "information service."

The court ruled that cable-modem services should be regulated more like a telecommunications service, which is more heavily regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. (See, for example, the unbundled network element requirements imposed on telecommunications service providers. The requirements have briefly been discussed on this very weblog: 1 and 2.)

The Ninth Circuit Court's decision came from a lawsuit filed by a small Internet-service provider called Brand X, which sued after the FCC developed rules that only lightly regulated cable broadband, (FCC v. Brand X).

"The high court will add the case to its docket and will likely make a decision on the appeal sometime late this year," reports Mark Anderson of the Wall Street Journal.

The Ninth Circuit is very active in rulings on communications services. (See the material on music sharing on this very weblog: 1 and 2.)

No comments:

Post a Comment