FCC Chair Pushes to Regulate ISPs

Proposal might amount to net neutrality order
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2010 11:27 AM CST
In this Nov. 24, 2009 file photo, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski speaks at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Ark.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

(Newser) – FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is making yet another valiant stab at introducing net neutrality or something like it today. In a speech today, Genachowski will propose a new regulatory framework that would forbid Internet broadband providers from blocking lawful content, the New York Times reports. The rules would also allow providers to charge different rates for different levels of service, and to manage traffic to limit congestion or harmful traffic.

The telecom industry has been buzzing about the plan for weeks, Politico reports, but the details are still vague, and it’s unclear if it’ll amount to a full order for net neutrality. House Republicans have already attacked the plan, with one Tennessee lawmaker calling it a “hysterical reaction to a hypothetical problem.” But Genachowski argues that history has already shown that broadband companies will try to leverage their position as gatekeepers unless regulated.

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