Industry hints at possible legal challenges to Federal Communications Commission's digital discrimination rules
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scheduled to vote Nov 15 on an order on preventing digital discrimination, but a new round of industry filings, plus commentary from FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, suggests there may be legal challenges ahead to the new rules. According to filings with the FCC, industry groups and service providers are taking issue with the agency’s definition of digital discrimination, along with other aspects of the draft order.
Cox Communications is being pressed to change or alter its "powered by fiber" ad claims to "clearly and conspicuously disclose" that its cable broadband service is not offered with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) technologies. The National Advertising Division (NAD) made the recommendation following a challenge raised by AT&T, a Cox competitor that is expanding and upgrading a portion of its footprint to fiber. In its assessment, the NAD noted that Cox's cable broadband service delivers service over fiber to the node, where it's then transitioned to coaxial line
T-Mobile expanded its fiber ambitions to a handful of new markets via partnerships with several open access fiber network operators including Tillman FiberCo and SiFi Networks, among others. The developments reflect T-Mobile's growing interest in partnering with fiber network operators to offer T-Mobile-branded fiber services running over another company's network. It is a model that T-Mobile knows well as companies like Dish Network, Altice and Google Fiber pursue a similar strategy using T-Mobile's own wireless network.
Recent telecommunications conferences have yielded one consistent disconnect – between wireless carriers seeking details about future spectrum allocations and government representatives offering vague assurances of better bandwidth to come. Consider the quizzing of Scott Blake Harris, senior spectrum advisor and director of national spectrum strategy at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, at ForumGlobal's 12th Americas Spectrum Management Conference in Washington on October 10.