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Whitfield Advises Against FCC Net Neutrality Vote

Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-Ky.) briefly turned a Consumer Protection subcommittee hearing on potential "do not track" legislation Thursday into one on "do not vote on network neutrality legislation."

At the end of his opening statement at the hearing, Whitfield, who is the ranking member of that Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee, said he wanted to briefly talk about something else. Pointing out that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had put a vote on network neutrality rules on the agenda (for Dec. 21), he said: "AS we know there have been some court decisions on that issue and I would hope that the FCC does not move in that direction right now and give us an opportunity to further explore that issue in the Congress."

At press time the subcommittee had recessed for floor votes, so it was not clear whether that side issue would get any more attention. Republicans are generally opposed to FCC network neutrality rules, some to the point of threatening to try and block implementation if the rules are approved.