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FOLLOWING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AND RELATED LEGAL TOPICS

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

FCC Result-Oriented Decision Upheld Again...

We finally had a chance to review the decision that was released by the D.C. Circuit on Friday in American Council on Education v. FCC , which upheld the FCC’s ruling that VoIP providers and broadband service providers can be subjected to the lawful intercept provisions Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

The American Council on Education challenged the FCC ruling on three grounds: (1) its application of CALEA to VoIP; (2) its application of CALEA to broadband services; and (3) its application of CALEA to "private networks." The court shot down ACE's challenges on all counts and agreed with the FCC's decision to treat broadband Internet access services as an "information service" for the purposes of relieving Bells and cable companies of traditional telecom regulation in the Brand X case, but treating the same broadband Internet access services as"telecom services" for the purposes of the CALEA statute. It seems like the D.C. Circuit is more than willing to endorse whatever results oriented decision the FCC slops together to get where it wants to go.

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