The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy Karr: 201-533-8838,,

Free Press: FCC Plan Is Not About Regulating the Internet

Chairman Genachowski Has Support to Take Necessary Steps to Protect Internet Users


In a House Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski was questioned
about the agency's authority over broadband, and it was suggested that
the FCC wait for Congress to pass a law outlining its oversight powers.

S. Derek Turner, Free Press research director, made
the following statement:

"The FCC's plan to restore its authority over broadband is not a plan
to 'regulate the Internet.' It is a protection of the status quo and
the first step toward ensuring that the FCC can protect Internet users
and carry out key parts of its agenda, including implementation of the
National Broadband Plan. Congress has always intended the FCC to be the
government agency overseeing communications services, and this plan
simply furthers that goal.

"It is disappointing that one lone congressman, Rep. John Culberson
of Texas, would continue to echo falsehoods, propogated by AT&T and
other opponents of even minimal FCC oversight, about the FCC's plan. It
is clear from this hearing that the Commission has support from the
majority of the Committee, and the assertions that Congress needs to
clarify the FCC's authority are completely wrong. The Communications Act
clearly affirms the FCC's power to determine how best to protect
consumers, and the Supreme Court's ruling in the Brand X case found that
the FCC has the ability to designate broadband transmission as a
telecommunications service.

"Congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen.
Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Henry Waxman, support the FCC and have already
instructed Chairman Julius Genachowski to take the necessary steps to
ensure that the agency can carry out its agenda."

Read The
Truth About the Third Way: Separating Fact from Fiction in the FCC
Reclassification Debate
for more background on the FCC's proposal
and the myths surrounding its authority.

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