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Appropriations Bill Blocks ISP Rate Regs

An FCC budget bill approved out of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee would prevent the FCC from regulating rates under its new Title II-based network neutrality rules, but would not block the rules until the end of litigation, as a House Republican appropriations rider would.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has insisted that the FCC is not planning to use reclassification to regulate rates, but cable ops are worried nonetheless, including about whether a future chairman will concur.

The FY2016 Financial Services Appropriations Bill also would grandfather all joint sales agreements (JSAs) in place before the FCC's March 2014 decision to make most of them attributable as ownership interests.

There are already stand-alone versions of legislation in the House and Senate that would do the same thing.

The Financial Services Appropriations Bill also cuts the FCC's budget by $20 million and would fund the FCC's planned move to new leased space—its current lease is expiring—only if it reduces the amount of space it plans to lease in the new digs.