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Table of Contents - October 15, 2014

Waxman's 'Hybrid' Open Internet Proposal Would Ban Blocking, Throttling, Paid Prioritization

Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Oct. 3 recommending a "hybrid" approach to open Internet regulation that would result in "bright-line" rules to prevent blocking, "throttling," and paid prioritization. Broadband network operators panned the plan, arguing that reclassifying broadband services under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, as amended, even with forbearance, would stifle investment.

In his letter, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's top Democrat said he was writing to "suggest a promising approach" to protecting the open Internet. "The vitality of the Internet is inextricably linked to its openness," he wrote. "I believe this vitality can be protected by reclassifying broadband providers as telecommunications services and then using the modern authority of section 706" to adopt the blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization bans.

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Wheeler: E-Rate Changes Can Close 'Rural Fiber Gap'

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has called for additional changes in the E-rate program, including encouraging fiber-network buildouts to rural areas so that schools and libraries will have the robust connections they need to take advantage of digital learning tools.

Speaking at the Ed Tech Summit in Washington on Sept. 29, Chairman Wheeler said that in the past year he has "witnessed the transformative power of digital education technology" at schools and libraries in urban areas, on tribal lands, and in remote parts of Alaska, but that for those locations limited to "the connectivity of the 20th century, the future is not as bright."

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