On May 5, 2014, Mozilla, the nonprofit corporation that made the
Firefox browsing platform, filed a Petition with the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) that would in part resolve the upcoming Net
Neutrality rulemaking. Carefully timed to be filed ten days before
the FCC considers the tentative rules Chairman Tom Wheeler felt
defend in writing, the Petition asks the FCC to classify and
regulate "remote delivery service" as telecommunications
service under Title II of the Communications Act. We explained the
significance of the Title II "common carrier"
this prior client alert.
Mozilla defines "remote delivery service" as the
transmission service that runs between a broadband subscriber and
remote, or edge, hosts with whom subscribers wish to communicate.
These remote hosts are, according to Mozilla, also end users of the
broadband provider and should be protected as such. Classifying
"remote delivery service" as Title II common carriage
will authorize the FCC to impose Net Neutrality rules in the manner
set forth by the DC Circuit in its Verizon decision.
Opponents of Net Neutrality rules will see the Mozilla Petition
as a direct challenge to the the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(NPRM) that the FCC will vote on May 15, 2014. Early drafts of the NPRM did not
include a Title II decision, but recent reports are that the option
has been added to the more recent version. The Petition now
virtually ensures that Title II will be in the Net Neutrality
FCC rules provide that petitions such as these will be put out
for public comment with specified deadlines. Being filed so closely
in advance of the NPRM vote, the Mozilla Petition could be added
into the NPRM comment cycle or could stand alone as a separate
proceeding. We will likely know more in the next few days as the
NPRM text is finalized.
Look for an alert that summarizes the Net Neutrality NPRM soon
after its release.
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