Test Case: Will FCC Respect President's Call for "Least Burdensome" Regulation?

The FCC has a bellwether opportunity at its February 8th meeting to approve a Broadband Data Modernization proposed rule making, that respects the President's new Executive Order that regulations should be the "least burdensome tools to achieve regulatory ends."


  • The FCC has announced that its proposed rule is to "streamline and modernize the collection of data"... "while minimizing burdens on voice and broadband providers."


Why this is an important test case:


  1. Will the FCC's proposed rule acknowledge and abide by the President's new Executive Order for "least burdensome" regulations or will the FCC ignore the President's call that our regulatory system must promote "economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation?"
  2. Will the FCC proposed rule be true and fair to its representation in the meeting agenda to "streamline and modernize the collection of data"... "while minimizing burdens...", or will it ignore that and listen to hyper-regulatory voices like FreePress calling for granular price data collection designed to enable FCC broadband price regulation and FCC micromanagement of the broadband marketplace?
    • There is ample recent evidence to be concerned that the FCC could listen to FreePress and produce much more burdensome data collection requirements, since in December the FCC lovingly cited FreePress a mind-boggling 53 times in its Open Internet order.
  3. Will the FCC "streamline" collection of broadband deployment data so that the FCC questions actually synch with the FCC's goals in the National Broadband Plan?
    • The NBP called for universal 4Mb down and 1Mb up, yet the FCC still collects for 768KB-1.5Mb, 1.5Mb-3Mb, 3Mb-6Mb, etc. -- that's not "streamlined" or "modernized."

In sum, this FCC data collection proposed rule making is a useful test case to see if the FCC intends to respect the intent of the President's Executive Order and whether the FCC actually will do what it represents that it is doing.


  • This is important because nothing good would come from the FCC collecting broadband price data as that would send a chilling signal to the broadband industry and to investors that the FCC's ultimate plan is to explicitly regulate broadband prices in the future.