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FCC Seeks To 'Refresh' Title II Docket

The FCC Friday asked for input on former FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's proposed "Third Way" approach to legally justifying open Internet rules that was part of the docket in the initial Open Internet order proceeding. The 'Third Way' was short of straight reclassification, instead combining applying some Title II regs and forebearing others.

Comment deadlines are July 15 for initial comments and Sept. 10 for replies.

Essentially the notice opens a new pleading cycle for comments on that 2010 "'third way' approach that would apply a limited set of Title II obligations to broadband providers," the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau said Friday in issuing the notice. "Today’s Public Notice establishes a comment cycle by which members of the public can update the record in that proceeding in light of marketplace and legal developments over the last four years."

Despite calls from cable operators ( Genachowski declined to close the Title II docket after his decision not to reclassify, and FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler declined to close it in the run-up to his 706 proposal. Now Wheeler is affirmatively seeking more input on that 'Third Way' approach given changes in the marketplace and various legal developments since 2010.

The FCC is also separately collecting comment on possible Title II variations in its recently voted notice of proposed rulemaking on Wheeler's proposed approach. That approach uses Sec. 706 authority, but keeps Title II on the table in case reclassification is required to make new rules legally sustainable.

The 'Third Way' docket number is 10-127.