3/11 Joint Filing on Applying the Open Internet Rules to Specialized Services and Mobile Slicing

Regulatory/Legislative Filings
Shutterstock / IgorGolovniov
March 13, 2024

These comments were covered by Communications Daily.

The Open Technology Institute at New America (OTI), Public Knowledge, Stanford Law School Professor Barbara Van Schewick, and University of California at Irvine Professor Scott Jordan filed an ex parte at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), urging the agency to apply Open Internet rules to specialized services and mobile slicing.

The Open Internet protections generally apply to Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS) providers when they provide BIAS. But ever since the FCC first adopted comprehensive open Internet protections in 2010, the agency has recognized that other services that are delivered over the same last-mile connection as broadband Internet access service (so-called “non-BIAS data services”) may also undermine the open Internet, harming innovation, competition, investment, and user choice.

In particular, the 2010 and 2015 Open Internet Orders took specific steps to ensure that non-BIAS data services do not harm the open Internet by providing a functional equivalent to BIAS, evading the open Internet protections, or negatively affecting the capacity and performance of BIAS.  The 2024 Open Internet Order must restore these critical protections.

Like the 2010 and 2015 Open Internet Orders, BIAS providers should be allowed to offer non-BIAS (specialized) data services over the same network, but only if the service:

  1. is not a broadband internet access service as defined in the first sentence of the BIAS definition (“regular BIAS”) or a functional equivalent of regular BIAS;
  2. cannot objectively function on the Open Internet and does not have the purpose or effect of evading Open Internet protections; and
  3. does not harm the open Internet by negatively affecting the capacity available for, and the performance of, BIAS, either dynamically or over time.