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Posted at 4:44 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Lawmakers push FCC to vote on net neutrality in 2010

By Cecilia Kang

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.

Related stories:

AT&T ramps up lobbying of net neutrality at FCC

Verizon, Comcast say feds shouldn't regulate Internet service providers

Google's deal on open access to Internet opens door to new Web clout

By Cecilia Kang  | November 30, 2010; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  FCC, Net Neutrality  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FCC looks into Level 3-Comcast spat over online video
Next: FCC chair announces net neutrality push without re-asserting role over broadband Internet

Comments

Cecilia Kang, Google's Reporter and Network Neutrality Lobbyist at the Post, neglects to mention that Byron Dorgan is a lame duck. His opinion does not and should not carry any weight. (He was, not coincidentally, very chummy with Google... as was his staffer Frannie Wellings, who departed his office to work for Google as a lobbyist. Many say that the job was payback for pushing "network neutrality" legislation that Google wanted.)

Kang also fails to mention in what way it would help Genachowski's cause to try to enact Google's Internet regulations in the dark of night when Congress was out of town. Doing so would clearly anger even those members who might otherwise support his actions, because he would clearly be dodging Congressional oversight, and could well prompt a legislative reversal of anything he does. Nonetheless, because Google is her patron and advertiser, Ms. Kang is rooting for Genachowski to take this rash action.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | November 30, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I want the Dems to force the FCC to enforce the laws on the books the anti-American Ronald Reagan set aside by illegal imperial decree.

Fox News would be off the air by sunrise as would the other inflammatory propagandists.

Posted by: BigTrees | November 30, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Ronald Reagan anti-American? lmao!

Posted by: Hattrik | November 30, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

John Kerry, Ho! Ho! The egotist who produced his own videos on Viet Nam. What a joke. We all know what net neutrality means to His Lordship.

Posted by: MRGB | November 30, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Consider this point. When is the last time you saw a monopoly act in your best interest? AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast all have virtual monopolies in their service areas. Of course they want to preserve all control. We need the FCC to protect the rights of American citizens. Net neutrality should move forward, even stronger than this compromise.

Posted by: nihao1 | December 1, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Actually, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast compete fiercely with one another, and with other service providers including satellite television services and competitive ISPs. None is a monopoly. Which is one reason why there's no need - zero - for regulation of the Internet.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | December 1, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

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