NATOA filed Reply Comments in FCC's NPRM Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet

Community, Industry, Top Issues,

NATOA filed Reply Comments in response to the FCC's NPRM Safeguarding and Securing the Open Internet – WC Docket No. 23-320.  NATOA files these comments to express support for the proposed reclassification of broadband Internet access service (BIAS) by classifying it as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and also to highlight our concerns with the potential preemption issues facing local government as a result of the reclassification of BIAS.


NATOA expressed support for comments filed by National League of Cities (NLC) and the Communications Workers of America which urged that reclassification of broadband internet access service (BIAS) as a telecommunications service must not preempt local governments’ ability to exercise its authority to manage the use our local public rights-of-way by overseeing the safety, placement, construction modification of BIAS providers’ facilities and to receive reasonable compensation from BIAS providers for that use.


NATOA's reply comments also call on the FCC to re-visit and overturn its 2018 Small Cell preemption order and, until then, forbear the application of Sections 253 and 332(c) regarding state and local authority over communications networks to reclassified BIAS services.


NATOA included its filing the Communications Policy Principles developed in the midst of COVID to address the development of Federal Communications Policy in 2021 – the 25th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act – and to address the Critical Role of Local

Communities and the NATOA  Broadband Principles, adopted by the NATOA Board of Directors in 2008, and advocating for open networks, network neutrality and non-discriminatory interconnection. These principles underscore NATOA’s belief that “local governments must be recognized as key partners to industry, states and federal government in broadband development.”