Government Relations Update November 2017
FCC Proposes Rollback of Net Neutrality Regulations
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a proposed Declaratory Ruling entitled "Restoring Internet Freedom," which seeks to undo the 2015 net neutrality regulations put in place under former Chairman Tom Wheeler. If adopted, the proposal would restore the classification of broadband internet access service as an "information service" under Title I of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. A vote on the proposal currently is scheduled for December 14, where it is expected to pass along party lines.
Redl Confirmed as Administrator of NTIA
After months of delays, the Senate voted to confirm David Redl as the new Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. In this role, Redl will be tasked with advising the President on telecommunications and information policy. Redl previously served as the chief counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Joint Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Data Privacy
The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee held a joint hearing to explore the concerns about tech companies' data privacy policies. At the hearing, entitled Algorithms: How Companies' Decisions About Data and Content Impact Consumers, Members of Congress sought clarification on the impact of how tech firms collect and make use of user data, as well as how companies communicate with users about these policies. The panel of lawmakers received testimony on the issues from six academic experts representing the University of Chicago Law School, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale Law School, Georgetown Law School, the University of Maryland Law School, and MIT.