Congress tells FCC to rethink its 'third way' net neutrality proposal

Maybe those cable guys at the Cable Show were sitting on inside information so they could remain unnaturally calm about FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's plans to regulate broadband Internet services. Then again, they likely just knew Genachowski's shot was only the first in a prolonged war over the future of telecommunications in the United States and how the wide-ranging Internet will be governed.

Whatever the case, Congressional Democrats and Republicans, in separate missives, have made it clear that they don't think Genachowski is going in the right direction with his "third way" plan to regulate broadband Internet.

A letter from 74 House Democrats told Genachowski that any action on the Internet should "not be done without additional direction from Congress," which some have taken to mean that elected, not appointed, officials might get more fully involved in running the nation's communications services. The Republicans, coming from Genachowski's opposing party, were not quite as diplomatic or apparently forward-thinking. They just said they didn't like what was going on and accused the FCC chairman of pushing "heavy-handed 19th Century regulations" that are "inconceivable" and illegal.

In either case, it appears likely that Congress wants to get more involved in the business of Internet communications, which could mean the FCC would have less influence.

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