The Open Internet Coalition said Tuesday (Apr. 13) that the
FCC needs to reclassify its broadband oversight under Title II
telecommunications service regulations, and fast.
In a conference call with reporters, Markham Erickson,
executive director of the coalition, said that if not, almost half of the FCC's
broadband plan initiatives would be in jeopardy, as would the FCC's proposal to
enforce, much less codify and expand, its network neutrality guidelines.
That comes in the wake of a federal court decision saying
the FCC had not justified its statutory authority for regulating Comcast's
network management practices, in this case impeding peer-to-peer file sharing
by BitTorrent users.
"The Comcast decision destroys the FCC's theory for
promulgating network neutrality rules," said Markham. He said classifying as Title II
would be a fairly straightforward process and swifter than waiting for Congress
to "fix" the decision by clarifying the commission's authority.
"We think that time is of the essence," said Markham.
The coalition includes
Google, Sony, Free Press, Public Knowledge and Consumers Union, among others.
Essentially all the members support Title II classification said Markham.
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.
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