Lawmakers push FCC to vote on net neutrality in 2010
Three Senate Democrats on Tuesday urged the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to create net neutrality rules before the end of the year. Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected as early as Wednesday to announce a net neutrality proposal for vote in December.
Sens. John Kerry (Mass.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), and Ron Wyden (Ore.) wrote in a letter to Genachowski that they support the FCC chairman's push for compromise in his rules, first introduced more than one year ago.
"We understand that there are some who would have you go further and some that would have you do nothing," the lawmakers wrote. "But we believe you are headed toward a principled center, and we support that effort."
Genachowski has sought support from big Internet service providers, Web giants such as Google and Skype and public interest groups through closed-door talks this summer. Those discussions didn't amount to an agreement, and critics have said the chairman's attempt for consensus prolonged his regulatory push. Now, with a Republican-led House, that effort has become more difficult.
Genachowski technically needs three weeks to circulate a proposal to the other four commissioners before a vote. There is some wiggle room by a day or two, however, telecom policy experts say. The next meeting is Dec. 21.
Sources outside the commission and public filings at the FCC show Genachowski's office has worked feverishly in the past couple weeks to build on a net neutrality proposal by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). The congressman wants to forbid broadband carriers from blocking Web sites or showing preference for some over others. The proposal would block the FCC from strengthening its oversight of broadband service providers. The biggest telecom and cable companies strongly oppose greater FCC oversight.
AT&T ramps up lobbying of net neutrality at FCC
| November 30, 2010; 4:44 PM ET
Categories: FCC, Net Neutrality
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