FCC Moving on Net Neutrality?

Reports by Politico and other news sources that Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski is pushing ahead on a net neutrality proposal is already raising the ire of Congress. The proposal is expected to be issued in December when Congress is in recess.

Net neutrality, a pet issue for Genachowski, would regulate the Internet by requiring Internet providers to treat all Web services equally. Currently, Internet providers, such as Verizon and Comcast, manage their own traffic and are opposed to net neutrality. But others such as Google are in favor of it.

Republicans and others in Congress have questioned whether the FCC has the authority to regulate the Internet at all, making the December grab highly controversial.

“Ramming through Internet regulations would ignore the will of a bipartisan majority of Congress and the American public,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), ranking Republican on the House Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee. “It would further impede economic growth and job creation. Furthermore, since the December meeting agenda will be released next week when Congress is in recess, it appears chairman Genachowski is trying to slip it under the radar and hope no one notices.”

Since the news of the FCC’s intention to move on net neutrality surfaced, 19 additional members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee led by ranking member Joe Barton, called the FCC’s move to vote on network neutrality “a mistake.” The group dashed off a letter to the FCC chair, asking him not to circulate an order in December.

Cat’s out of the bag.