FCC Web Rules Create Pushback

The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday outlined a proposal for regulating the Internet that he described as a “third way,” or middle ground between “heavy-handed” regulation and a do-nothing approach that could hurt competition and leave consumers unprotected.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is proposing to promote competition and preserve the free flow of Web traffic by applying to broadband Internet service certain provisions of rules designed to regulate traffic on copper-wire telephone networks.

Big phone and cable companies, which provide much of the nation’s broadband service, expressed dismay at the FCC chairman’s decision to extend his regulatory authority to broadband, predicting it would damp investment and lead to court battles that could last years.

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