House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) expressed disappointment following Thursday’s Federal Communications Commission’s vote on Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed “open Internet” rules.
The FCC voted to move forward with a proposal that would allow broadband providers to charge companies like Amazon and Netflix for prioritized access to consumers.
There's still a lot left to be resolved -- the proposal is now open for public comment for the next four months, and could be changed before a final vote to implement it.
“Free from regulation and government meddling, the Internet as we know it has thrived," Upton and Walden said in their joint statement.
"Sadly, these unnecessary rules the commission proposed today will have a chilling effect on job creation and innovation without any corresponding consumer benefit," they said.
"These rules are a solution in search of a problem. Worse still, any attempt to reclassify broadband Internet embarks on a worrisome course for its future,” the pair said. “With so much at stake, Chairman Wheeler has ignored the bipartisan congressional calls for caution. We look forward to a spirited discussion with Mr. Wheeler next week on the commission’s misguided vision of a heavily regulated Internet.”
On Tuesday, Upton, Walden, full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH) wrote to Chairman Wheeler expressing their concern with any proposal to reclassify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act.
Chairman Wheeler will appear before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee next Tuesday. More information can be found here.