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Dingell’s Challenge to the FCC: Show Me the Proof On the Third Way

The Ranking Minority Member of the House Energy and Commerce Representative John Dingell has written a 4-page letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski challenging the basis and authority for the “third approach” to regulating the Internet announced by the Chairman this month.  In the letter, Dingell asks the Chairman to reply to a series of questions and to justify how the agency surmised the decision to explore the third approach.  The questions might as well have been rhetorical as they each spell out all the different ways and reasons the Third Approach is ripe to be challenged and mired in litigation and judicial interpretation that would return the FCC to where it was the day after the Comcast decision was made. In short, Dingell predicts what many can already foresee; that the third approach will be a time waster.  The Commission wants to promote competition, transparency, access and a continued open Internet experience for all. The fact remains, however, that the best way for that to be done is through a different and more thorough exploration of the issue.

As almost all can agree, no one wants the Internet as we know it changing or altering for the worse. The risk of changing a working ecosystem now is a degraded experience for all.  It’s not much to ask that the agency collect as much data, explore all possible alternatives, solutions and examine the practical effects of the regulation and the industry before acting. Up until now, there has not been any clear indication that the FCC was planning on taking into consideration the varying perspectives of all stake holders involved.  It appeared to be on a one track course to adopting some form of network. It is great to see Representative Dingell ask these questions.  They are relevant and important. I, for one , anxiously await the FCC’s response.


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