Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
* Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail
This is a summary of the Bureaus'
Interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. When filing comments, please reference GN Docket No. 09-191 and WC Docket No. 07-52.
Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic file via the Internet to
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). Parties are strongly encouraged to file comments electronically using the Commission's ECFS. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.
Effective December 28, 2009, all hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.
Parties shall also serve one copy with the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, 202-488-5300, or via e-mail to
Documents in GN Docket No. 09-191 and WC Docket No. 07-52 will be available for public inspection and copying during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th St., SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The documents may also be purchased from BCPI, telephone 202-488-5300, facsimile 202-488-5563, TTY 202-488-5562, e-mail
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1. In order to promote innovation, investment, competition, and free expression, and to protect and empower consumers, in late 2009 the Commission issued the
2. There are two complex issues, however, that merit further inquiry. The first is the relationship between open Internet protections and services that are provided over the same last-mile facilities as broadband Internet access service (commonly called “managed” or “specialized” services). The second is the application of open Internet rules to mobile wireless Internet access services, which have unique characteristics related to technology, associated application and device markets, and consumer usage. The
3. In the
These concerns, particularly the second and third, may be exacerbated by worries that due to limited choice among broadband Internet access service providers, consumers may not be able to effectively exercise their preferences for broadband Internet access service (or content, applications, or services available through broadband Internet access service) over specialized services.
4. There appear to be at least six general policy approaches to addressing these concerns while promoting private investment and encouraging the development and deployment of new services that benefit consumers. These approaches could be employed alone or in combination:
5. The Bureaus seek comment on each of these concerns and suggested policy responses, as well as any other concerns or policies regarding specialized services that the Commission should consider. Which policies will best protect the open Internet and maintain incentives for private investment and deployment of innovative services that benefit consumers? In addition, the Bureaus seek comment on whether specialized services provided over mobile wireless platforms raise unique issues.
7. The Bureaus seek comment on what disclosure requirements are appropriate to ensure that consumers and content, application, service, and device providers can make informed choices regarding use of mobile broadband networks. What information should be disclosed about device and application requirements and certification processes? Are there any existing models that could provide guidance for shaping such rules? For instance, the Commission adopted transparency requirements for licensees in the 700 MHz Upper C Block.
8. The Bureaus seek further comment on the ability of new technologies and business models to facilitate non-harmful attachment of third-party devices to mobile wireless networks. Can adherence to industry standards for mobile wireless networks ensure non-harmful technical interoperability between mobile broadband devices and networks? Will deployment of next-generation technologies (
9. As noted above, some mobile providers have introduced usage-based data pricing. To what extent do these business models mitigate concerns about congestion of scarce network capacity by third-party devices?
10. The Bureaus seek comment on how best to maximize consumer choice, innovation, and freedom of expression in the mobile application space, while ensuring continued private investment and competition in mobile wireless broadband services. To what extent should mobile wireless providers be permitted to prevent or restrict the distribution or use of types of applications that may intensively use network capacity, or that cause other network management challenges? Is the use of reasonable network management sufficient, by itself or in combination with usage-based pricing, to address such concerns? Should mobile wireless providers have less discretion with respect to applications that compete with services the provider offers? How should the ability of developers to load software applications onto devices for development or prototyping purposes be protected?
11. The Bureaus also seek comment on the extent to which certain application distribution models—such as a mobile broadband Internet access service provider acting as both a network operator and an app store provider/curator—may affect consumer choice. If providers were to be prohibited from denying or restricting access to applications in their capacity as network providers, should they nevertheless have discretion regarding what apps are included in app stores that they operate? Are there safe-harbor criteria that, if met by a provider, would ameliorate potential concerns? For example, if a provider's customer had a choice of several app store providers that offered applications that could be downloaded onto the customer's mobile device, would that adequately mitigate concerns about potentially anti-competitive or anti-consumer effects of a provider excluding applications from its own app store?
12. Finally, the Bureaus seek comment on how differences between web-based and native applications should inform the Commission's analysis. Should a mobile provider have more discretion to restrict consumers' downloading and/or use of native applications than they should with respect to web-based applications?