Rep. Dingell tells FCC to drop move for broadband regulations
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), former head of the Commerce & Energy Committee, said Wednesday that the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission should drop his push to re-regulate broadband lines.
Dingell wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday that he felt the controversial effort was being done in haste. He came up with that conclusion after receiving a "paucity" of answers from Genachowski on the move.
"Unfortunately, the Commission could not respond to my questions in sufficient detail,” said Dingell in a statement. “This substantiates my fear that the commission is proceeding along a precarious path that will lead to bad policy and result in protracted litigation."
He told Genachowski to abandon the effort, which is currently in consideration at the FCC. Instead, he said, the FCC should "work with Congress to enact law that resolves the matter."
Indeed, the FCC chairman's chief of staff has been meeting with telecom, cable and Internet giants to resolve disagreements on how networks can be managed to pave the way for legislation on net neutrality. If the parties, including Google, Verizon, AT&T and Skype, were able to resolve their differences on how carriers could prioritize certain traffic, like data going to telemedicine sites or voice applications, lawmakers could introduce a bill on those practices.
That would take pressure off the FCC and allow it to scrap its effort to assert its authority over broadband service providers.
But public interest group Free Press on Thursday criticized the FCC's meetings with corporations, who are negotiating terms on telecom policy that could potentially favor big companies over consumers, they said.
"A deal struck by Verizon, Comcast, Google doesn’t represent the public interest and is no excuse for the FCC to abdicate its responsibility to protect Internet users," Free Press President Josh Silver said in a statement. "The future of the Internet should not be decided in a back room.”
July 28, 2010; 7:00 PM ET
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