Key Rep. Steny Hoyer ready to claim responsibility for broadband


The debate is on as to how far the FCC can go in its effort to enforce the concept of internet network neutrality. In the wake of a court ruling that overturned FCC authority under policies adopted during Bush administration, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has been pursuing a “third way” approach. But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) thinks that Congress may have the last word in the matter.

Prior FCC administrations attempted to oversee the internet while treating it with the lighter regulatory touch that pertains to its classification as an information service.

Genachowski’s approach is to make limited use of Title 2 common carrier authority, with the narrow goal of making sure that access to the web is neutral and uncompromised by an ISP’s own interests in web-content producers.

Lawmakes like Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in the Senate and Henry Waxman (D-CA) in the House have offered to legislate on Genachowski’s behalf if necessary, and Hoyer told The Hill that he believes that legislation may be the final best option in the matter.

According to The Hill, Hoyer aid Katie Grant said, “The FCC has itself acknowledged that it must walk a very careful legal path as it develops a reclassification plan, which underscores the utility of also having Congress … legislate a consensus approach.”