Congress debates FCC's net neutrality rules

by Amy Schatz, Wall Street Journal

House Republicans attacked new "net neutrality" rules for broadband Internet lines in a contentious hearing Wednesday and criticized Democratic Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski for adopting them.

Republicans are targeting the new Internet rules, which would bar Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic and services, as one of many new regulations, including for health care and the environment, which they say are unnecessary and overly burdensome on industry.

Democratic lawmakers on the panel defended Mr. Genachowski and several said they didn't think the FCC had gone far enough with regulating Internet lines. They said the agency should have more firmly established its authority to play Internet traffic cop by re-regulating Internet lines under rules designed for the landline phone network.

"Without some clear rules of the road, large corporations can carve up the Internet into fast and slow lanes, charging a toll for content and blocking innovators from entering the information superhighway," said Rep. Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.).

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article originally published at Wall Street Journal.

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