Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act

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The Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act was a bill which sought to reduce government regulatory barriers to investment in broadband technology.


Bill summary

During the 106th and 107th Congresses, Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Billy Tauzin (R-La.) introduced the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act. Provisions in the bill included:

  • A ban on FCC or state regulation of the rates, conditions for, or entry into high-speed Internet service.
  • Allowing Bell telephone companies to provide high-speed data services on a nationwide basis, despite current restrictions on long-distance service.
  • Limits on requirements that the Bell companies and other incumbent telephone companies (local exchange carriers, or LECs) provide competitors with access to network elements used for high-speed data.
  • Allowing the FCC to impose penalties for violations of certain provisions of the bill, including requirements that certain telecommunications carriers give consumers the freedom to choose their Internet service providers. Under the bill, the FCC also could assess penalties against Bell telephone companies that offer voice telecommunication services using telephone lines for data transmission without the agency's permission.[1]

Passage by the House

On February 27, 2002, during the 107th Congress, the House passed the bill, 273-157.

House record vote:
To pass the bill

February 27, 2002
Passed, 273-157, view details
Dem: 156-63 in favor, GOP: 117-92 in favor, Ind: 0-2 opposed

2003 FCC Triennial Review

While the bill was never approved by the Senate, and therefore never sent to President Bush for approval, the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) 2003 Triennial Review included key provisions of it.[2] For example, it granted incumbent carriers (such as Bell) regulatory relief, such as limitations on requirements that they provide competitors with access to materials used for high-speed data services. Some argued that this effectively eliminated the threat of competition for these large providers.[3]

Articles and resources

See also


  1. James L. Gattuso, "The Tauzin-Dingell Telecom Bill: Untangling the Confusion," Heritage, February 25, 2002.
  2. Vince Vittore, “Tauzin to resign from Commerce Committee,” Telephony Online, February 4, 2004.
  3. Glenn Bischoff, “REGULATORY: The 10 Most Important Regulatory Events of 2003,” Telephony Online, December 1, 2003.

External resources

External articles