FCC Commissioners Face Senate Panel Grilling Over Open Internet Order
March 19, 2015 at 3:54 AM (PT)
The FCC Commissioners faced the Senate Commerce Committee on WEDNESDAY (3/18), taking criticism from Republican Senators for passing the Open Internet order and, in the words of panel Chairman JOHN THUNE (R-SD), taking "the most radical, polarizing, and partisan path possible" by not working with the House and Senate and instead passing the rules reclassifying ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act, which THUNE said was outdated.
The law, THUNE charged, "will only increase political, regulatory, and legal uncertainty, which will ultimately hurt average Internet users. Simply put, your actions jeopardize the open Internet that we are all seeking to protect." Chairman TOM WHEELER countered that the law is a response to ISPs wanting FTC-style case-by-case regulation but responding that it's "terrible uncertainty" once they got it ("you can't have it both ways").
The hearing included discussion of whether the new regulations allow the Commission to regulate rates, which the three Democrats on the Commission say is specifically among the rules under forbearance but, under questioning by THUNE, Commissioner JESSICA ROSENWORCEL appeared to say could lead to fines for unreasonable rates.
Watch the entire hearing here: