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Net-neutrality Showdown Likely in House Hearings

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Photo: fcc.gov

Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski said last week he was ready to debate Congress on the net neutrality rules FCC passed in December.

“We are prepared to explain what we did and why we did it,” he said in a panel interview, The Hill reported. “If there’s a debate,” he added, “we will engage in the debate.”

Under rules adopted by FCC in December, Internet providers would be barred from blocking competing applications or blocking access to websites. However, the agency left the door open for tiered use, where users can pay for faster access as well as metered usage, where users pay based on bandwidth usage.

The regulations were passed along party lines, the three Democratic commissioners approving them over the objections of the two Republicans on the commission.

And, the newly elected class of Republican legislators have vowed to overturn through legislation FCC’s authority to enact the net neutrality provisions.

This week, Genachowski will get the showdown he predicted and welcomed.

The House Judiciary Intellectual Property subcommittee and the House Energy and Commerce Communications subcommittee will both hold net-neutrality hearings this week, The Hill reported.

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