Bill would make it harder for FCC to create new broadband rules
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would make it harder for the Federal Communications Commission to create new regulations for the broadband industry. The bill was in response to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal to define broadband as a telecommunications service so that it could create a net neutrality rule and policy reforms around its national broadband plan.
Stearns, ranking member of the Communications, Technology and Internet subcommittee, said the bill would require the FCC to conduct a tough market analysis before mandating new rules. The FCC would need to prove that regulations are necessary and that there is a market failure that warrants rules. The agency would have to report the findings to Congress.
“I see no reason for Internet regulation. Yet, if there is ever a cause for regulation, it is a decision to be made by Congress – not the FCC,” Stearns said in a statement. Chairmen of the House and Senate commerce committees and other key lawmakers have thrown their support behind Genachowski's proposal.
Broadband services providers, meanwhile, hailed Stearns's bill. They said it would provide necessary protections against a new regime at the FCC, which they fear could lead to mounting regulation.
“Congressman Stearns’s legislation starts with the right premise: Regulators should identify a problem before imposing a solution," said Peter Davidson, senior vice president of federal government relations for Verizon. "It is certainly appropriate for Congress to examine the implications of regulation, and his effort is an important addition to the discussion."
May 11, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
Categories: Broadband , FCC | Tags: Federal Communications Commission, Network neutrality
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