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McDowell: Net Neutrality Order is Ill-Advised

Senior Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell says he "strongly opposes" FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's just-circulated draft of a network neutrality order, saying it was more like coercion than compromise.

That came in a statement Wednesday.

"Minutes before midnight last night, Chairman Genachowski announced his intent to adopt sweeping regulations of Internet network management at the FCC's open meeting on December 21," said McDowell. "I strongly oppose this ill-advised maneuver. Such rules would upend three decades of bipartisan and international consensus that the Internet is best able to thrive in the absence of regulation.

"Pushing a small group of hand-picked industry players toward a "choice" between a bad option (Title I Internet regulation) or a worse option (regulating the Internet like a monopoly phone company under Title II) smacks more of coercion than consensus or compromise," he said. 

"This 'agreement' has been extracted in defiance of not only the courts, but a large, bipartisan majority of Congress as well.  Both have admonished the FCC not to reach beyond its statutory powers to regulate Internet access. By choosing this highly interventionist course, the Commission is ignoring the will of the elected representatives of the American people."

The chairman has scheduled a vote on the order at the Dec. 21 meeting, but commissioners will have an opportunity to suggest edits.