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House Schedules Net Neutrality Hearing For Feb. 16

The House Communications & Internet Subcommittee has
made it official.

It has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 16 on the FCC's new
network neutrality rules. The hearing is entitled "Network Neutrality and
Internet Regulation: Warranted or More Economic Harm than Good?," though
the Republicans in charge of scheduling the hearing have already signaled their
answer to that question in no uncertain terms.

Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) was one of those
Republican leaders who vowed to reverse the regs after the FCC Dec. 21
approved them in a straight 3-2 party line vote.

"The FCC has overstepped its bounds and we intend to
put a bridle on them and rein them in," he said at the time, expressingthe views of the new Republican leadership on key FCC oversight committees.
Walden also said back in December that there could be congressional
investigations of the process by which the vote was reached. Republican
Commissioners Meredith Attwell Baker and Robert McDowell both complained
that they had not seen the draft of an order with substantive changes in it
until a little before midnight Dec. 20, and were still vetting it even as they
voted against it, though that "no" vote had never been in doubt.

Walden said Congress needed to look seriously at process issues. "They
have a flawed process at the FCC that shuts out the people's business and
we are going to address that forcefully."