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FCC chiefs to testify at GOP net neutrality hearing

Thu, 02/10/2011 - 7:10pm
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

All five FCC commissioners, including Chairman Julius Genachowski, will testify next week about the agency's net neutrality regulations before the Republican-controlled House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the commissioners to answer questions about the potential economic fallout of its open Internet rules at a Feb. 16 hearing titled "Network Neutrality and Internet Regulation: Warranted or More Economic Harm than Good?"

The net neutrality hearing is one of four hearings that will be held by GOP subcommittees next week on health care, recent consumer product safety laws and new environmental regulations.

House Republicans have been staunchly opposed to the FCC's net neutrality rules, which passed by a divided 3-2 vote in December. The incoming GOP chairs of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.), vowed together with Rep. Upton that they would use the Congressional Review Act of 1996 to fight the FCC's actions. The review act allows Congress to review and repeal rules created by federal agencies through a joint resolution.

So far, the Congressmen have not acted on their pledge to use the review act, but the GOP has stepped up its oversight of the FCC since it took control of the House in January.

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