For Neutrality, FCC To Try New Way

May 5th, 2010 by · 3 Comments

That's the word coming out of Washington right now.  Unsatisfied with the more obvious choices left to them in the wake of the Comcast decision, FCC Chairman Genachowski has decided to get creative.  He won't use the Title II sledgehammer to kill a mosquito, by reclassifying broadband.  But he's also not going to just take his ball and go home.  According to the FCC:

"The Chairman will outline a ‘third way’ approach between a weak Title I and a needlessly burdensome Title II approach.  It would 1) apply to broadband transmission service only the small handful of provisions that, prior to the Comcast decision, were widely believed to be within the Commission’s purview, and 2) would have broad up-front forbearance and meaningful boundaries to guard against regulatory overreach."

I'll let the lawyers parse that one.  It sounds sensible, but we're talking about bureaucracy here so sensible is not just irrelevant it's probably misleading as well.

The initial response from most seems to be simply relief that nothing more drastic is going to happen.   I'm sure that will wear off in a few hours or days.  I think it's safe to say that whatever the details of the FCC's plans are, they will be tested in court by someone - because there is just no way they will satisfy everyone.

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Categories: Government Regulations

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3 Comments So Far


  • Dave Rusin says:

    Just when you think their is a drop of commonsense inside the beltway .. Julius does a 180!

    Whatever they (FCC) are thinking – it will go to court — the FCC will get spanked (again) … my money is on the ILEC and Cable Companies litigation teams.

    And nothing will change — this will take years to litigate.

    All that is getting accomplished is the raising of uncertainty which will keep private capital away from investing into competitive companies to the ILEC and Cable Companies or other technological innovation which the FCC and Obama Administration claim they want!

    Uncertainty is not what private capital invests in when it comes to regulatory matters.

    The focus should be on Internet peering, access and costs not net neutrality.

  • anon says:

    i thought the internet was the fast growing medium in the history of planet earth precisely because it is not regulated… what possible policy justification is there for telling an owner what they can do with their property?? the ILEC’s etc are/were regulated because they were built with public funds… how do you tell cogent or abovenet, or anyone else, that they can or can’t do what they want with their network? are they allowed to buy used furniture? can they paint their walls red vs blue? this is pure private property — let’s regulate swimming pools, too, to make sure that the cold and hot water are each treated fairly ??

  • Dave Rusin says:

    I hate confusing the FCC with facts … but go read, if you can stay awake, CA1996 — it explicitly excludes the internet. CA 1996 is a law by Congress signed by President William Jefferson Clinton and Monica, the FCC can’t make up laws nor can they interpret them without getting their buts dragged into court for a little of; “What we here is a failure to communicate” ruling against them.

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