FCC Votes 3-2 To Begin Reclassifying ISPs Under Title II
'Not hard to understand why companies...would prefer no oversight at all...'
As had been expected, the FCC today voted along partisan lines 3-2 to begin discussing
the possibility of regulating ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act. After losing their throttling case versus Comcast, the FCC announced back in May
they'd be taking this so-called "third way" approach in order to ensure they had regulatory authority over broadband ISPs. The proceeding sets a comment deadline for the FCC's inquiry of July 15, with reply comments due by August 12.
In a press release
(pdf), the FCC called the decision necessary because their Comcast court loss "cast doubt on prior understandings about the FCC’s ability to ensure fair competition and provide consumers with basic protections when they use today’s broadband Internet services." In a statement
(pdf), FCC boss Julius Genachowski again tries to please everyone by insisting this move is a balance between over-regulation and doing nothing:
It’s not hard to understand why companies subject to an agency’s oversight would prefer no oversight at all if they had the chance. But a system of checks and balances in the communications sector has served our country well for many decades, fostering trillions of dollars of investment in wired and wireless communications networks, and in content, applications, and services—and creating countless jobs and consumer benefits.
See statements from each FCC Commissioner on the vote (all in pdf format): Copps