FCC: ISPs Must Fork Over Data


Washington — Cable operators and other Internet-service providers will
have to provide data to both the feds and whatever states ask for it, the Federal
Communications Commission has decided.

The FCC said its broadband mapping and data collection efforts do not tread
on states’ rights to do the same thing. In an order released April 26, the commission
granted — in part — a petition by the National Association of Regulatory
Utility Commissioners to clarify that point.

“[W]e conclude that the commission has not preempted or otherwise precluded
the States from mandating that broadband providers file data or other information
regarding broadband infrastructure or services,” the commission said.

The FCC said it was taking no position on whether any individual state’s laws
authorize such collection, or whether states should be doing so as a matter of
policy. But it also said that it had clear authority to preempt state regulations
in some circumstances, but, that in this case, it had concluded that it “has [not]
exercised its delegated authority to preclude the States from undertaking mandatory
broadband information collection eff orts.”

The FCC has been directed by Congress to undertake a mapping and data
collection effort to identify areas most in need of help deploying and adopting
the broadband “ecosystem.”