Wheeler, Powell to Testify on Net Neutrality

Former FCC chairmen Tom Wheeler and Michael Powell will be among the high-profile witnesses at the Feb. 7 House Communications Subcommittee hearing on network neutrality.

It was Wheeler's Open Internet rules that were overturned by the current FCC with its deregulatory Restoring Internet Freedom order while Powell crafted the network neutrality principles about openness and access that the FCC adopted as a policy statement, the attempted enforcement of which essentially began the year's long legal and political battle over how the government should, or should not, regulate internet access.

Related: D.C. Court Gets Earful on Net Regulation Rollback

The complete witness list for the hearing is as follows: Wheeler, now a fellow at the Brookings Institution; Powell, now president and CEO of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; Jessica Gonzales, deputy director and senior counsel, Free Press & Free Press Action Fund; Denelle Dixon, COO, Mozilla; and Ruth Livier, actress, writer, and UCLA doctoral student.

Mozilla is the lead petitioner on the challenge to the Restoring Internet Freedom order. Oral argument on that challenge was held last week.

Doyle has said that net neutrality will get plenty of attention under the new Democratic regime in the House.

He led the attempt, ultimately unsuccessful, to nullify the Restoring Internet Freedom order in the last Congress. 

John Eggerton

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.