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Posted at 4:59 PM ET, 03/ 8/2011

Republicans pan FCC reasons for net neutrality rules

By Cecilia Kang

A day before House lawmakers put controversial net neutrality rules under scrutiny, leading Republican lawmakers said the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission hasn’t convinced them that the reasons behind the rules were good enough.

In a statement, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee leaders Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) said an economic analysis provided by the FCC for its Internet access rules “failed to provide a compelling justification for its power-grab.”

The FCC implemented in December first-time Internet access rules that prevent cable and telecom operators from blocking or arbitrarily slowing traffic on their networks. Republican and some Democratic lawmakers have called the move an overstep for an agency that has debatable authority to regulate broadband services.

Wednesday’s hearing by the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will be the second in the House, where Republican leaders are seeking to hobble the rules. Lawmakers have introduced two bills — one that would overturn the rules and one that would withhold appropriations for the agency — and this hearing will focus on the former. Both bills would have to pass a House and a Senate vote and be signed by President Obama to become law.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a letter to the lawmakers that the lack of competition in the market for broadband service providers justifies regulations that ensure equal access to content. The agency said in its order that the rules were created “because broadband providers have the ability to act as gatekeepers even in the absence of market power with respect to end users.”

It said Internet applications such as Amazon, eBay and Google had characterized Internet access rules as “a critical component of [their] contribution to economic growth.”

Upton, Walden and Terry said in their statement Tuesday that the analysis provided by Genachowski “does little more than summarize the comments of parties and provide conclusory statements.”

Analysts said the hearing Wednesday, which will not include FCC members, will probably not lead to termination of FCC net neutrality rules.

Jeffrey Silva, a telecommunications and media analyst with Medley Global Advisors, said holding the hearing carries political benefits for Republican lawmakers.

“It doesn't hurt to say to the Tea Party members, ‘Look we are really with you on this.’ ” Silva said. “That’s an important thing ahead of elections.”

Related:

House lawmakers face uphill battle on overturning net neutrality

By Cecilia Kang  | March 8, 2011; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  FCC, Internet TV, Net Neutrality, internet, telecom  
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Next: The Circuit: Senate passes patent reform, hearing on net neutrality, Europe grapples with cookie law

Comments

Of course the GOP feels this way. They do not believe in fair and balanced or the American peoples intrests. The GOP does not support anything which is good for the people, the masses or the little guy. They only believe in supporting what is best for big business and the corporate elite. The GOP wishes to form a totalitarian and authoritative government with the blessings and financial help of their benefactors, big corporations and the business elite with two classes, the rich and the poor.

Posted by: cario1 | March 9, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The GOP consistently opposes all measures that would benefit the majority of their constituencies -- and then go on to be elected or re-elected! Just what is it I am missing here?

Posted by: OneIfBySea | March 9, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Since most of the GOP believe that the Internet is nothing more than a series of 'tubes', I would be more than a bit surprised if they were actually talking about the 'real' internet - maybe fat-burger net - or Wal-Mart net (hair), or more oil drilling net, or hillbilly net??

BUT, just on the outside chance that any of these buffoons actually DO know what the Internet is all about, it would do well for them to read the "Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace" penned in 1996 by John Perry Barlow..... They would QUICKLY figure out, even with their pea-brains, they're not wanted here and we WILL spit them out on the floor as we march on...

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | March 9, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Every last bit of the infrastructure of the "internet" was bought and paid for by we the people. Those to whom the republicans chose to bequeth with "liscenses" to charge us for it's use and as such to force bandwidth stealing, usage fees, or any other means of "throteling" our access to it should be construed as Theft!

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | March 9, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

You need to read up on the new crop of millionaires in the House.

Then you would KNOW why the GOP won't support the little guy. Most of them are millionaires...

They didn't vote tax breaks for millionaires, they did it for themselves. And we now know the true reason.

Posted by: taroya | March 9, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality-101

Posted by: alexandrian78 | March 9, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I would be interested to see how much the telecoms have invested, I mean contributed, to these GOP politicians against net neutrality. The GOP will sell their mothers for a few bucks. Net neutrality helps the average American and the average American is the enemy of the GOP (they believe there is no money in supporting the average American)

Posted by: rcc_2000 | March 9, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

It sounds as if the FCC has mandated a solution that's in search of a problem.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is the motto by which the FCC should regulate, not "Let's do it and see if we can get away with it."

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | March 9, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: greensophia88 | March 9, 2011 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Most of you GOP haters have no idea what you are talking about, and I wonder are you real? If so what is your agenda? I am for net neutrality, so get the FCC out.

Posted by: digitalrant | March 10, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

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