FCC Split as It Moves to Re-Regulate Internet Lines

A split Federal Communications Commission kicked off an effort to re-regulate Internet lines Thursday, releasing for comment a plan to give the agency more authority to police Internet providers.

The FCC’s five commissioners voted 3-2 to launch its re-regulation effort, with the agency’s two Republican members dissenting. The proposal would reverse a 2002 decision by the FCC that deregulated Internet lines.

The vote basically kicks off the FCC’s effort to change the way it regulates phone and cable companies’ Internet lines. After a few months of public comment, the agency is expected to issue an order this fall that would implement its changes.

“We need to reclaim our authority,” said Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. “I, for one, am worried about relying only on the good will of a few powerful companies to achieve this country’s broadband hopes and dreams.”

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