Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are teaming up to oppose the FCC’s plan to reclassify broadband internet service under Title II of the Communications Act.
Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) and more than 70 other Democrats sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski urging him to drop the proposal.
Genachowski pitched the proposal earlier this month as a way to advance with net neutrality regulation in the wake of the Comcast decision, when a judge ruled the FCC lacked the authority to regulate broadband because it was classified as a Title I information service.
In the letter, Green argues that the litigation likely to follow from a new Title II regulatory structure would create “uncertainty” in the marketplace, with catastrophic results.
“During this uncertain period of litigation, capital investment will undoubtedly be drastically reduced, if not halted, effectively ceasing the improvement and expansion of access to the unserved and underserved areas of the country,” the letter states.
Republican lawmakers Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) are also circulating a letter asking Genachowski to withdraw his proposal, according to an unofficial document posted by Free Press.
Stearns and Barton argue that the “significant interpretive change” to the Communications Act should be made by Congress, not the FCC, and questioned the proposal’s legality.
Yesterday, four influential lawmakers announced they would begin implementing Genachowski’s Title II reclassification proposal with a series of bipartisan meetings beginning in June. The level of political support for the effort remains unclear.
Filed Under: Industry regulations