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FCC begins regulatory overhaul of broadband at June 17 meeting

The Federal Communications Commission will begin the process of redefining broadband services as a telecommunications service at its open meeting on June 17.

In a press release, the agency said it will issue a notice of inquiry -- which will draw comments and a review by the agency -- on a proposal by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. He is expected to get the three votes necessary to proceed with the review.

In it, the agency will explore the following questions:

1) Whether the FCC's current “information service” classification of broadband Internet service remains legally sound and adequate.

2) What the legal and practical consequences would be of classifying broadband Internet as a “telecommunications service” to which all the requirements of Title II of the Communications Act would apply.

3) How Genachowski's “third way” proposal of reclassification under Title II with stripped rules would "reaffirm" the agency's unregulated approach to broadband.

"Nearly a decade has passed since the commission gathered the record on which the current legal classification of broadband Internet service is based," the agency said in the release. "Congress has recently reaffirmed the FCC’s limited-but-vital role with respect to broadband; and the Commission has fulfilled Congress’s mandate to develop a National Broadband Plan recommending specific agency actions to encourage deployment and adoption."

By Cecilia Kang  |  May 27, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Broadband  
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Comments

Congress has made it explicit that FCC does not have even a "limited" role in the Internet. It said so in Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act, where it said that it was the policy of the United States that the Internet remain "unfettered by Federal or state regulation." Yet, the FCC -- prompted by lobbyists paid by Google -- is now seeing unlimited power over the Net. See the memo from Google lobbyists at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020493265 where they explicitly ask that the FCC not even make a pretense of "forbearing" from imposing heavy regulations -- designed for 19th Century monopoly telephone service -- on the Net. Also see the comments of FCC Commissioner Copps (who served as Chairman for a brief period not long ago), at http://reason.com/blog/2010/05/19/top-fcc-staffer-says-commissio and http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-297946A1.pdf.

Ms. Kang, who lobbies for Google in print at the Post, of course mentions none of this.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | May 27, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

LBrettGlass, you're getting as annoying as Scrivener....

Posted by: nick7 | May 28, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

LBrettGlass, if you could get past your clear bias against Ms. Kang due to her race, you'd realize that CTIA has also advertised on this blog, which according to your logic means that she must also be a lobbyist for CTIA. Last time I checked, CTIA is on the opposite side of Google on this issue. However, you choose to overlook this obvious point in your continued pointless ramblings. I doubt Ms. Kang has any role in selecting the advertisements on this blog. For arguments sake, lets take your argument to another site. If an AT&T or Microsoft ad appeared on Foxnews.com, would that mean that Foxnews is clearly a lobbyist for AT&T or Microsoft?

Posted by: Commreader | May 28, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I have yet to see regulation that works as intended. Net neutrality will be no different.

Posted by: millionea81 | May 28, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

As Ronald Reagan said:
"If it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

The Dems will impose new regulations which will, of course, require new taxes to pay for enforcement of those regulations.

Posted by: spamsux1 | May 28, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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