FCC Mulling New Do-Nothing Broadband Policy
Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski is considering leaving broadband services unregulated. That’s what a trio of sources inside the agency tell The Washington Post, anyway.
Seems a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found the FCC had overstepped its bounds when it censured Comcast for interfering with peer-to-peer traffic on its network has given the chairman cause to reconsider his plan to reclassify high-speed Internet access as a transport service subject to FCC regulation. “… Sources said Genachowski thinks “reclassifying” broadband to allow for more regulation would be overly burdensome on carriers and would deter investment,” the Post reports. “But they said he also thinks the current regulatory framework would lead to constant legal challenges to the FCC’s authority every time it attempted to pursue a broadband policy.”
Genachowski hasn’t yet made a final decision on the matter, but the fact that he’s even considering leaving broadband services unregulated has incensed critics who say to do so is to abandon ‘Net Neutrality.
“We simply cannot believe that Julius Genachowski would consider going down this path. Failing to reclassify broadband means the FCC is abandoning the signature communications and technology issues of the Obama administration. Such a decision would destroy Net Neutrality,” Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, said statement. “It would deeply undermine the FCC’s ability to ensure universal Internet access for rural, low-income and disabled Americans. It will undermine the FCC’s ability to protect consumers from price-gouging and invasions of privacy. … If Chairman Genachowski fails to re-establish the FCC authority to protect Internet users, he will be allowing companies like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to slow down, block or censor content at will. “