FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before a Senate hearing in Washington, May 12, 2015. REUTERS

Regulating interconnection: The FCC has a role to play, but it’s more limited than they’d like

Barring a stay, the FCC’s Open Internet order is set to take effect later this month. And although much of the analysis thus far has focused on the rules regulating traffic over last-mile broadband networks, the most far-reaching aspect may prove to be the commission’s decision to regulate interconnection. It is also perhaps the most surprising aspect. Since launching its net neutrality proceeding in 2009, the commission repeatedly insisted that it had no desire to regulate the Internet. As late as mid-2014, Chairman Tom Wheeler explained that interconnection is “not a net neutrality issue” and a commission spokesman clarified that “[p]eering and interconnection are not under consideration in the Open Internet proceeding.”