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Lawmakers to probe FCC net neutrality plans

Mon, 06/21/2010 - 8:10am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Republican and Democrat leaders of the House and Senate committees on communications are looking into the FCC’s regulatory authority over broadband through a series of stakeholder-led sessions beginning Friday.

The move comes amid increasing pressure from lawmakers and unions to implement a congressional alternative to the FCC’s plan to reclaim its regulatory authority over broadband Internet services.

The first set of staff-led stakeholder sessions will address broadband regulation and FCC authority, with a focus on protecting consumers and promoting broadband investment. Additional meetings will be convened to address spectrum policy and broadband deployment and adoption after these sessions are concluded.

Leaders of the sessions include ranking officials from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet in both the House and Senate.

The sessions will focus on broadband regulation and consumer protection, FCC authority and spectrum policy, and broadband deployment and adoption. A list of participants and statements submitted by attendees will be made available to the public at a later date.

The AFL-CIO, CWA and the NAACP are among the unions that are pushing lawmakers for legislation to clarify the FCC’s authority on broadband Internet services.

In a letter sent to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the unions said congressional action was needed “so that our nation can move forward on implementation of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan.”

“We must make investment a priority, and that requires narrow legislation that makes the FCC’s authority clear,” said CWA President Larry Cohen.

More Broadband Direct 6/21/10:
•  Comcast picks NDS for tru2way software integration
•  Comcast launches new SA guide in Middleton, Conn.
•  Verizon sweetens month-by-month plan
•  Rogers to correct $30M billing error
•  40G, 100G Ethernet standards ratified
•  Lawmakers to probe FCC net neutrality plans
•  FCC eyes satellite spectrum for mobile broadband
•  Best Buy offering discounts on WiMAX laptops
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