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Sheppard Mullin's Nota Bene

Dec 5, 2018

Coined by Columbia University law professor, Tim Wu, in 2003, net neutrality has been the impetus for major political and technological debates. From Comcast to Madison River Communications, there have been various Internet Service Providers who have tested the limits of net neutrality, triggering the Federal Communications Commission to step in, take action, and in effect, shape the future of the internet. 

In order to further understand the future state of the internet, we’re exploring the past, present, and future state of net neutrality and its impact on the way consumers access information on the internet.

My guest today is Paul Werner, a partner and Practice Leader of Sheppard Mullin’s Business Trials Practice Group in the Washington D.C. office. Paul is a seasoned first-chair litigator and has extensive experience representing cable operators, telecommunications, and other broadband providers in matters involving communications law issues, including local franchising, PEG programming, rights-of-way, pole attachments and infrastructure deployment, and a host of other related issues.

What We Discuss in this Episode:

  • What is net neutrality and why is there so much buzz around that topic these days?
  • Are there common carriage obligations and what concerns do they address?
  • In order to understand where we are now with net neutrality, it’s important to understand how the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has approached communication regulations in the past
  • What is the virtuous cycle of innovation and why is it important to keep it spinning around?
  • How information services developed over the years
  • The essence of net neutrality requires transparency, no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization.
  • How did the FCC change the way internet services were classified for regulatory purposes?
  • What was the Open Internet Order that the FCC issued and what happened to it under the new administration?
  • Should states establish their own individual net neutrality regulations?
  • Can communication policies be localized to the states or are they inherently national?
  • Is internet regulation a good thing? Could it potentially frustrate technological innovation?

Resources Mentioned:

Communications Act of 1934

Telecommunications Act of 1996

Open Internet Order

Contact Information:

Paul’s Sheppard Mullin attorney profile

(202) 747- 1931

Thank you for listening!

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This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matter, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.