Witnesses Set for House Communications Hearing

The House Communications Subcommittee has named the witnesses for a Jan. 12 hearing on four communications-related bills, including one that would block the FCC from implementing rate regulations via its Title II reclassification of broadband.

The witnesses are Elizabeth Bowles, president of the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association; Harold Feld, SVP, of Public Knowledge, and a fan of the FCC's Open Internet rules; and former FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, partner in Wiley Rein, and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, who is no fan of the FCC's Title II reclassification.

H.R.2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, is the stand-alone version of a House rider that failed to make it on the final omnibus spending bill that passed last month.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said the new rules are not an effort to regulate rates, but Republicans are concerned that might not apply to the next chairman, so want to make sure the FCC cannot use its new tariffing and enforcement authorities under the Title II-based net neutrality rules to regulate rates.

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.