House Republicans: Net Neutrality Order Would Be 'Mistake'

All 18 of
the returning Republican members of the House Energy & Commerce
Committee sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Friday
him not to put a network neutrality vote on the December agenda. "We ask you not to circulate the order," they said.

That came
after reports that that order could be teed up as early as the December
meeting. The chairman has long said that the commission would need to
expand and codify
its network neutrality rules to preserve an open Internet and implement
parts of the National Broadband Plan, but the timing of that
move, for which he
has the three votes necessary for approval, was clouded by first
the BitTorrent court decision calling its Internet authority in
question, then the failure of an effort to
get Congress to weigh in legislatively.

to a copy of the letter, they told the chairman that "reigniting the
network neutrality debate will only distract us from that work and
further jeopardize
investment, innovation and jobs." Those three are among the things the
chairman regularly cites as motivating the commission's
actions generally.

"We haven't
circulated the December agenda," FCC spokesperson Jen Howard said Friday
in response to the reports of a possible December item but before
the Republicans' letter was sent. "These rumors from outside, uninformed sources are pure speculation at best."

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.