Saturday, November 20, 2010

FCC and Net Neutrality

FCC may regulate Internet lines days before Christmas
By Sara Jerome - 11/19/10 04:50 PM ET

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Christmas gift in store for the phone and cable industry: it may move ahead on its controversial net-neutrality regulations three days before Christmas.

An FCC source confirmed on Friday that the commission plans to push its December meeting back by a week, meaning it will fall on the 22nd of the month. That's the same meeting in which analysts say the agency may move forward on its controversial net-neutrality proposal.

Though the FCC has not confirmed that it will vote on net neutrality this year, rumors are swirling that it will.

The timing of the meeting is already raising eyebrows. Some see it as a way to move the matter along before the GOP assumes the majority and while Congress is not in session to criticize the effort.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), ranking member of the telecom subcommittee, questioned the schedule on Friday.

He said "it appears that Chairman [Julius] Genachowski is trying to slip it under the radar and hope no one notices."

Industry sources also suggested that political calculus is involved with the change of date for the meeting.

"While many Americans will be enjoying their eggnog on that day, I'm sure the broadband providers won't be pleased to find this piece of coal in their stockings," an industry source jibed.

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