Wednesday, March 21, 2007

FCC Classifies Wireless Broadband as an Information Service

The FCC declared that wireless broadband Internet access service is an information service under the Communications Act -- putting it on the same regulatory footing as other broadband services, such as cable modem service, wireline broadband (DSL) Internet access service, and Broadband over Power Line (BPL).



Wireless broadband Internet access service is defined as a service that uses spectrum, wireless facilities, and wireless technologies to provide subscribers with high speed Internet access capabilities. Wireless broadband Internet access service can be provided using mobile, portable, or fixed technologies, and wireless broadband technologies can transmit data over short, medium, or long ranges.



Specifically, the FCC ruling finds that the transmission component underlying wireless broadband Internet access service is "telecommunications," and that the provision of this telecommunications transmission component as part of a functionally integrated wireless Internet access service is an information service.



The FCC said this approach is consistent with the framework that the Commission already has established for cable modem service, wireline broadband Internet access service, and BPL-enabled Internet access service, thus furthering the goal of regulating like services in a similar manner. The FCC also found that wireless broadband Internet access service using mobile technologies is not a "commercial mobile service," as that term is defined in the Act and implemented in the FCC's rules.

http://www.fcc.gov

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