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Lawmakers weigh in before FCC hearing

It's a big day at the FCC tomorrow, as the agency moves forward with its new strategy for regulating broadband -- reclassifying it as a Title II communication service, which would trigger more rules. The agency is still smarting after the D.C. Circuit Court's decision in Comcast v. FCC that it does not have the authority to enforce net neutrality regulations.

Lawmakers have released statements both supporting and opposing the agency's new strategy.

Supporters include Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.). In their letter (pdf), they wrote:

Your proposed "Third Way" approach to restore and reaffirm the authority of the Commission to regulate broadband communications services following the D.C. Circuit's decision in Comcast v. FCC is a tailored, commonsense path forward.

We agree that your proposition's application of sections within Title II to broadband services is appropriate and necessary, as they cover fundamental consumer protection issues such as privacy and access for individuals with disabilities.

Meanwhile, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) relayed his concerns about the FCC's strategy in a statement. Upton also wrote a letter to Genachowski on May 4.

“Despite overwhelming opposition within a Congress that possesses the actual authority that the FCC covets, the Commission now inexplicably appears poised on Thursday to take another misguided leap towards its investment-suffocating attempt to regulate broadband providers as common carriers. This is not a ‘third way’; rather, it is the wrong way. The FCC’s regulatory compass must be broken as they continue in their unrelenting pursuit to impose so-called network neutrality regulations, regardless of whether the agency has the legal authority for such a blind power grab, and whether such regulations will actually undermine the FCC’s ability to achieve the goals of the National Broadband Plan. The FCC must stand down from pursuing a course unauthorized and opposed by Congress, and should wait for further guidance from the body that has the legal authority in question before moving forward and adopting any new rules.”

By Jia Lynn Yang  |  June 16, 2010; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Broadband , FCC , Net Neutrality  
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