February 23, 2011
The new Republican members of both the House and Senate wasted no time following up on promises to undo the Federal Communications Commission’s December vote to apply new “Net neutrality” rules to some broadband Internet access providers.
The new “Open Internet” rules (PDF) would prohibit blocking of lawful content, Web sites, applications, and devices and ban “unreasonable discrimination” in the handling of specific data packets. (“Open Internet” is the FCC’s preferred term for Net neutrality.) A new transparency requirement would mandate detailed disclosures of network management practices.
Last week, the House held two hearings on the new rules. Based in part on my analysis of the new rules for CNET, I was called to testify at the February 15 hearing before the Judiciary Committee. (My written testimony can be found here (PDF)). The following day, the Energy and Commerce Committee grilled all five FCC Commissioners for over four hours.