House Moves Net Neutrality Hearing...Slightly

Those setting up their inside-the-Beltway streaming schedules for the week will need adjust their calendar for the House net neutrality hearing.

According to the House Communications & Technology Subcommittee, the hearing has been moved from a 10 a.m. to an 11 a.m. start time.

Related: House Schedules Net Neutrality Hearing

It is a legislative hearing on the Democrat's entry in the net neutrality legislative sweepstakes, a bill that simply nullifies the Ajit Pai FCC's deregulatory Restoring Internet Freedom order and restores the Tom Wheeler FCC's Open Internet Order of 2015 and its rules against blocking, throttling, paid prioritization and anything else the FCC concludes threatens an open internet.

Both Republicans and Democrats agree Congress needs to clarify the government's authority to regulate the internet to put an end to the year's long legal back-and-forth, but how to do that remains a tough row to hoe. Both sides have offered up legislation--three Republican bills--that the others side won't accept. They will have to move to some form of middle ground.

Related: Dems Prep for Net Neutrality Hearing

In the meantime, the latest legal challenge is currently being weighed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Whichever side wins that will be less likely to compromise, so the next stop for the issue could well be the Supreme Court, which could wind up being the venue that ultimately decides what the FCC's authority is.

That Court has already weighed in on the issue in the Brand X case, the slim decision that upheld a previous FCC's determination that internet access was an information service. But the issue is of such public importance the court could, and likely would, take the case again.

John Eggerton

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.