Thursday, December 2, 2004

Supreme Court to Review “Brand X�? Cable Modem Decision

The United States Supreme Court agreed to review the 9th Circuit's "Brand X" cable modem decision. In a statement, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said "High-speed Internet connections are not telephones, and I'm glad the Supreme Court has agreed to review the 9th Circuit's ruling that they are. The 9th Circuit's decision would have grave consequences for the future and availability of high-speed Internet connections in this country. "http://www.fcc.gov

  • The FCC's declaratory ruling, which was issued 15-March-2002, classified cable modem service as an “information service�? rather than a “cable service.�? As an interstate information service, cable modem service would therefore be subject to FCC jurisdiction rather than state or local rules.


  • In October 2003, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court vacated the FCC declaratory ruling that had classified cable modem service as an "information service without a separate offering of a telecommunications service." The FCC promptly appealed the decision. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now declined to review the lower court's ruling.


  • The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review a lower court's ruling that had overturned the FCC's classification of cable modem service as an "information service." The case originally arose regarding whether local municipalities could require cable operators to open their networks to other ISPs.


  • In August 2004, the FCC filed papers to appeal the “Brand X�? cable modem case to the Supreme Court.

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