Uncommon Wisdom

Apr 26 2010   1:50PM GMT

Reclassifying broadband could bring industry heat down on FCC

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

FCC Commissioner Copps, who may be the chosen front-man for the concept of reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service, seems to be admitting the idea will draw a lot of industry angst. Whether that’s because the FCC believes that the concept will need more public support to fly, or whether it wants to control expectations is hard to say at this point.

The FCC has, in truth, no other options that it could hope to undertake on its own authority. Congress would have to redraw the regulatory map to create a more direct path to net neutrality, but in truth we believe the reclassification is an easier approach.

There are ample reasons for the move, more than would be needed to satisfy the law. So the real question is whether the FCC is willing to take some industry heat in favor of net neutrality, or would prefer to let the issue go and accept industry competition as the lever against any non-neutral practices.

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