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Genachwoski: Court Decision Does Not Change Broadband Policy Goals

In a public statement Thursday about the recent Federal court reversal of the FCC's BitTorrent decision, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the commission still has the authority to act on its broadband policy goals, including the myriad proposed rulemakings and inquiries and directives of the national broadband plan.

That came in a statement accompanying the release of an action agenda/timetable for implementing the national broadband plan, whose goal is universal and affordable broadband deployment and adoption. "The court decision earlier this week does not change our broadband policy goals, or the ultimate authority of the FCC to act to achieve those goals," he said, echoing similar statements earlier in the day by FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus. "The court did not question the FCC's goals; it merely invalidated one technical, legal mechanism for broadband policy chosen by prior Commissions."

The decision reversed the FCC's finding that Comcast's impeding of peer-to-traffic had violated the commission's network openness guidelines. But the court stopped at the jurisdiction question and did not deal with the network management issues.

FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick said in a blog post April 7 that the decision could affect a multitude of the plan's recommendations. But that is only if this commission (note Genachowski's attribution of the vacated policy to the "prior commission") was unable to defend its policies on the basis of other authority in the Communications Act, authority Lazarus said Thursday the FCC remains convinced it has.