FCC considers reclassification of Internet in push to regulate it
The Federal Communications Commission has been exploring ways to reassert its authority over the Internet after last week’s federal appellate court decision cast doubt on whether the commission has the authority to enforce its net neutrality policy.
The FCC had been relying on a classification of broadband as an "information" carrier (what it calls a "Title 1" classification) in order to further its net neutrality plan. On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told a Senate Committee that he does not read the court’s ruling as an obstacle to enforcing net neutrality under Title I, Broadcasting and Cable reported.
Genachowski did not, however, say whether he supported a push to reclassify broadband under Title II, which covers heavily regulated telecommunications services. Two of his colleagues — FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn, told the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas that they thought the agency should look into reclassification under Title II, the National Journal reported.
It is widely thought that for President Obama’s universal broadband plan to be successful, the FCC needs to have authority to implement net neutrality laws. The question is what path the commission will take to secure that authority.