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FCC to Vote on Net Neutrality Rules

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by The Federalist Society
Posted December 20, 2010, 2:00 PM

Hayley Tsukayama at The Washington Post's Post Tech Blog writes about the proposal the Federal Communications Commission is considering Tuesday on net neutrality, under which the FCC would regulate broadband access (click here to see the earlier FedSoc Blog post on the upcoming vote). FCC Chairman Genachowski's proposal has generated a variety of responses, ranging from calls for more regulation to challenges to the legal authority of the FCC to regulate the Internet.

Yesterday, FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal arguing that the increase in regulation proposed by Chairman Genachowski is the result of "quixotic pressure to fight an imaginary problem" and that the FCC, which appears ready to approve the measure, has not listened to industry analysts and companies who say "the new rules are likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices."

Meanwhile, The New York Times published an editorial calling for stronger rules, arguing that "(a)ny new rules must prevent broadband service providers from foreclosing on competition." The rules, the editorial says, would not stop some companies from paying in order to prioritize the Internet traffic to their websites, and they do not adequately address new markets for broadband access, like wireless broadband.

The Federalist Society hosted a debate last week on the FCC's proposed regulation of the Internet with an address from FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker and a discussion by Prof. John F. Blevins of Loyola Univ. New Orleans College of Law, Christopher Libertelli of Skype, and Prof. Christopher S. Yoo of the Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Scott J. Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute moderated. You can click above to watch the video on FedSoc Blog.

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