Friday, January 07, 2011

The Net Neutrality Fight Goes on…and on

Larry Downes comments on CES panel debate over the FCC and the steps Congress is taking (HR96)

Amplify’d from

I published an article for CNET late last night on a spirited debate at CES yesterday over the FCC’s recently-enacted “open Internet” rules, aka net neutrality.  Panelists from the FCC, Congress, AT&T, Verizon, Google and the Center for Democracy and Technology actually agreed on one point, which is that the neutrality saga has only completed its first chapter.

While some panelists believe the next step is more regulation, others promised Congressional and perhaps court challenges aimed at undoing the Commission’s “Christmas Surprise.”  As I note in the piece, the new Congress, with its Republican majority in the House, has already taken up reversing the rulemaking as a priority.  Rep. Marsha Blackburn has introduced legislation, signed by 60 other members including at least one Democrat, that would make clear the FCC’s lack of authority over broadband access.

And Neil Fried, senior counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, promised the overfull audience that the Committee would take up the FCC’s “overreaching” as its first tech agenda item.