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Dingell To Genachowski: Abandon Title II Plan

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) has counseled FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to "abandon" his effort to reclassify broadband under some Title II regs and told him to wait for Congress to weigh in, saying the chairman's defense of that plan was insufficient.

That came in a letter to Genachowski Wednesday in response to the FCC Chairman's letter Monday, which was itself a response to Dingell's letter of last week about the fact that he had gotten no response to a letter he had sent two months ago.

The key to that maze of correspondence was that Dingell said the chairman's response, or more to thepoint what he called the "paucity of responses" in Genachowski's letter Monday (( lacked sufficient detail and confirmed Dingell's "fear" that the chairman's so-called "third way" proposal was "bad policy" that would lead to "protracted litigation."

He said of the chairman's defense that it was based on "unsound reasoning and an incomplete record."

Dingell has made clear before that he has major problems with the proposal. In fact, he pointed out that he was "reiterating" his call for the FCC to stand down and let Congress step in.

The chairman is attempting to clarify the FCC's authority over broadband access services in order to make sure it canimplement the national broadband plan and expand and codify its Internet openness guidelines. That comes in the wakeof the court decision throwing out the FCC's Comcast/BitTorrent decision saying the FCC had failed to identify itsstatutory authority to sanction Comcast for blocking peer-to-peer uploads.

But the chairman has also brought together both sides of the debate for talks at the FCC about a possible legislative solution.

The FCC is currently collecting comment on the proposal, as well as the options of doing nothing and applying the full force of Title II common carrier regs to broadband transmissions.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.