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House Communications Subcommittee Slates Net Neutrality Hearing

The House communications Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing Jan. 21 on planned network neutrality legislation.

The hearing is entitled "“Protecting the Internet and Consumers Through Congressional Action.” The specific congressional action was signaled earlier in the day by parent House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D).

They are working on legislation that would protect against online discrimination and blocking and even paid prioritization without reclassifying Internet access under Title II.

Congressional Republicans have been spurred to action by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's signal that he wants to vote on new open Internet rules Feb. 26, and that they are likely to reclassify ISP's under some variation of Title II regs.

"We will soon put forward a legislative plan that will protect consumers, promote innovation and investment, and provide legal certainty. This hearing will show that the FCC cannot achieve that same certainty nor do they have authority to accomplish as much as Congress can through the legislative process," said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the subcommittee.

No word yet on witnesses.

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.