Comments responding to an FCC notice of inquiry that seeks insight into how to obtain more sophisticated real-time knowledge of non-Federal spectrum usage have highlighted the importance and potential of AI and machine learning systems.

The Satellite Industry Association stated that, “sensing the physical surroundings together with AI will further enhance situational awareness. Sensing supports various innovative applications such as high precision positioning and localization of devices and objects, high resolution and real-time 3D-mapping for automated and safe driving/transport, digital twins, and industrial automation.”

SpectrumX recognized the “substantial opportunity to apply [AI] tools to spectrum data analysis and spectrum management,” while Lockheed Martin agreed that “artificial intelligence [] and machine learning [] offer promise in evaluating big datasets and providing . . .  insights into spectrum use over time, spectral band, and geography.” The NCTA stated that “Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s optimism on the transformative capabilities of AI and ML tools is well-founded,” noting that “AI and ML can be powerful tools to mine unstructured data and digest it into a more user-friendly format.”Continue Reading Commenters Discuss the Role of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in How the FCC Should Manage Spectrum 

The Federal Communications Commission has released a long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with the goal of bringing back its 2015 net neutrality rules that classified broadband internet as a common carrier and prohibited the blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of content. The 2015 rules, promulgated under the Obama administration, were repealed in 2017 by former Commissioner Ajit Pai.

Though many expected President Biden’s 2020 victory to result in re-adoption of the 2015 rules, President Biden did not appoint a fifth Commissioner to the FCC until recently, leaving the agency at a 2-2 standstill down party lines for the past two years. With the appointment of Commissioner Anna Gomez, Biden’s FCC is now at full operating capacity to move forward on major actions and reestablish the net neutrality rules. And with the NPRM, the Commission has demonstrated that there are a multitude of changed conditions that necessitate re-adopting the 2015 rules: the NPRM establishes “the increased importance of [broadband internet access service] to consumers since the onset of the pandemic,” that consumers’ perception of broadband internet access service as a standalone telecommunications service is “more pronounced now than it was in 2015,” and that “developments in recent years have highlighted national security and public safety concerns arising in connection with the U.S. communications sector[.]”Continue Reading FCC Issues Draft Net Neutrality Order For October 2023 Meeting

On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14036 – Promoting Competition in the American Economy.  The wide-ranging Executive Order includes 72 initiatives that aim to increase enforcement of existing antitrust laws and other consumer protection regulations. The Order targeted at least 15 federal departments, offices, and agencies, potentially affecting a wide panoply of American industries. It is designed to restore competition in the American economy and reverse the effects of corporate consolidation. The Biden Administration hopes this will drive down prices for consumers, increase wages for workers, and facilitate innovation.

The Executive Order proposes to address these problems by “enforc[ing] the antitrust laws to combat the excessive concentration of industry, the abuses of market power, and the harmful effects of monopoly and monopsony.” The Executive Order also “reaffirms that the United States retains the authority to challenge transactions whose previous consummation was in violation of the [antitrust laws.]”

This Executive Order represents a watershed moment in competition policy in the United States, as the White House has directed the entire U.S. government to more aggressively enforce the antitrust laws. The Executive Order has far-reaching implications for antitrust enforcement and communications law alike as it calls for more rigorous antitrust enforcement by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, and seeks new consumer protection regulations through the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Departments of Transportation and Commerce.Continue Reading President Biden Signs Sweeping Executive Order Promoting Competition with Far-Reaching Effects on Antitrust Enforcement and Communications Law

What is good for the goose is good for the gander. The saying often finds application in Washington, when a principle formerly benefiting one ideological side suddenly benefits the other due to the vagaries of the ballot box. The filibuster is a classic example. The respect that courts accord to agencies is another. In FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project, the Supreme Court reversed the Third Circuit and unanimously upheld the FCC’s relaxation of its media ownership rules, a significant deregulatory policy of the Trump Administration. But the wide latitude that the Supreme Court gave the Commission’s factual findings has become a valuable tool in the hands of the Biden-era FCC, as the FCC can command the same respect for crucial factual findings needed in support of quite different initiatives, such as new net neutrality rules. Meanwhile, in the proceeding at hand, media ownership, the Commission has subsequently issued a public notice to update the record in the 2018 Quadrennial Review proceeding for its media ownership rules and extended the comment and reply comment deadlines to September 2, 2021 and October 1, 2021, respectively.Continue Reading Supreme Court Upholds FCC Decision to Abolish Media Ownership Rules