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Markey: FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Needs Legislative Teeth

Network neutrality fan Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) reiterated this week that the commission's net neutrality efforts likely won't be a sufficient deterrent to ISPs and remains determined to legislate an open Internet

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski from Markey and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)
, the pair provided their support for his network neutrality proposal, being unveiled Thursday (Oct. 22), commending him for the review. But Markey also said that he still expected that to be a "complement" to H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act that he and Eshoo introduced to codify network neutrality rules.

While praising Genachowksi's proposal to add two new principles of nondiscrimination and transparency as "precisely the kind of regulatory predictability that markets require" and praising the FCC's own promised transparency and inclusiveness in the rulemaking process, Markey suggested that would not be sufficient.

"Net neutrality rules by themselves probably will do little to break the stranglehold that the dominant Internet service providers have on consumer choice -- but Chairman Genachowski is moving us in the right direction by opening this rulemaking," he said. "What he cannot accomplish with the rulemaking process, we will do legislatively."

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Markey has pushed a similar bill in previous Congresses.