Hazlett Comments on FCC Net Neutrality Proposal

Commenting in Investor's Business Daily, Professor Thomas Hazlett says Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski's new proposal for net neutrality rules is a carefully crafted proposal that maintains the FCC's authority over Internet regulation while offering measures to gain support from ISPs.

"The FCC is selling this to the carriers as a capitulation," he says. "That's what the usage-based pricing is in there for. (The proposal) is still a form of regulation that they're trying to sell."

Genachowski's proposal would bar ISPs from blocking legal content, but they would be able to manage their networks for congestion or harmful traffic while also charging higher fees for higher usage. The proposal is slated to be voted on at the FCC's December 21 meeting.

FCC Floats A New Neutrality Compromise, Investor's Business Daily, December 2, 2010. By Reinhardt Krause.

"Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday proposed new 'net neutrality' rules that won initial support from Internet service providers such as Comcast and AT&T but will still face staunch Republican opposition in Congress.

"Beset by legal and political difficulties and aiming to forge a compromise, Genachowski backed away from his earlier proposal to regulate broadband services under existing rules that govern phone service, a move supported by consumer groups and many Internet companies. A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in April gutted much of the FCC's authority over the Internet. But Genachowski maintains that the FCC has legal grounds to regulate the Internet without reclassifying broadband as a phone service."

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