Michael Powell suggests there is more bark to bite in net neutrality opposition


Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell told a gathering that the harsh rhetoric coming out of the House of Representatives on the topic of current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s proposal for preserving an open internet may have more to do with posturing for the House Energy and Commerce chair than with the actual proposal.

Genachowski’s proposal was instantly opposed by his Republican colleagues on the Commission, but has received equal and opposite criticism from watchdogs who see it as no guarantee of net neutrality at all.

The proposal steers clear of bringing Title II regulatory powers over the internet, which if exercised would give the FCC more muscle. The failure to move to Title II is what the watchdogs are bemoaning, but that has nonetheless not stopped criticism of the plan from the other side.

According to Hillicon Valley, Powell made his remarks at an event sponsored by the Internet Innovation Alliance.
Powell also wondered if Genachowski’s fellow Democrat Michael Copps, whose views align closely with the aforementioned disillusioned watchdogs, would end up siding with the two Commission Republicans and end up torpedoing the more modest approach advocated by Genachowski.

Powell suggested that Copps work with Genachowski and President Barack Obama and go with the measure, which has support from the industry to be regulated, and use other proceedings to continue work on the topic.