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Table of Contents - December 1, 2014

Obama Calls for Title II Reclassification, Same Rules for Wireless, Wireline; Wheeler Says 'More Time' Needed

President Obama called on the FCC on Nov. 10 to reclassify broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, while forbearing from rate regulation. He also said the same rules should apply to wireless and wireline services and called for "an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect."

In a response to the president's statement, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that use of the agency's Title II authority, whether by itself or in a "hybrid" approach with Telecommunications Act section 706 (advanced telecommunications capability) authority, raises "substantive legal issues" that will take more time to resolve - a statement that suggests that an order in the proceeding won't be voted this year.

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Wheeler Plan Eyes $1.5B E-rate Funding Increase To Bolster Connectivity in Rural, Low-Income Areas

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has developed a proposal to increase funding for the E-rate program by $1.5 billion a year and to take steps to ensure schools and libraries in rural and low-income areas have access to high-speed telecommunications infrastructure.

Chairman Wheeler was set to begin circulating the item Nov. 20 among Commissioners, in line with plans to put it on the Commission's Dec. 11 open meeting agenda. But the Commission' s two Republican members immediately raised concerns about increasing the costs of the program without making substantial reforms.

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