FCC Warned by Congressman Over Meeting Agenda

FCC Warned by Congressman Over Meeting Agenda

12/1/2010

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski received a thinly-veiled warning from a Florida Republican congressman, Cliff Stearns. This developed after a report about the agency chief putting net neutrality on the agenda in its next week’s open meeting when Congress is in recess.

Congressman Stearns, in a statement, said, “Since the December meeting agenda will be released next week when Congress is in recess, it appears that Chairman Genachowski is trying to slip it under the radar and hope no one notices.”

At present, Stearns is the leading Republican on the House Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee. The congressman from Florida is also said to be going after the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s leadership position when the Republicans take over control of the House next year.

According to some reports, the issue of the FCC’s authority over data roaming agreements may be taken up in its December open meeting agenda. Details of the December open meeting agenda are scheduled to be released next week.

Two communications companies, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, have put forth their argument that FCC does not have the legal authority to regulate wireless broadband Internet services. As such, the agency does not have the power to force the carriers into agreements pertaining to data roaming.

Should the FCC reclassify the wireless broadband Internet service, it can enforce net neutrality agenda and require data roaming agreements. This move by the agency has met considerable and stiff opposition from Republican lawmakers, as well as the cable and wireless industry.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com