FCC goings on: Title II comments on June agenda

Even without asking, the FCC has been getting an earful about its proposal to include broadband Internet as some form of Title II regulated service. Now the Commission is making it official: a notice of inquiry, asking for comments on Chairman Julius Genachowski's "third way" regulatory plan will be on the agenda for the Commission's June meeting. The goal is to learn what the public and public interest groups think about Chairman Julius Genachowski's "third way" proposal to lightly--but nevertheless officially--regulate broadband Internet.

Unofficially, the Commission has been a lightning rod for comments. Randolph May, president of the self-labeled free-market oriented think tank, Free State Foundation, told CBS News that paying too much attention to the bulk mail commentary delivered by public interest groups reduces the effectiveness of the FCC because listening to every group opposed to every action has "the effect of undermining the role of the FCC acting independently on the basis of its expertise and experience."

On the other hand, David Palmer writes in Radio Business Report/Television Business Report that the FCC should be pummeled because it is trying to assume too much power, including "the power to regulate the Internet and the content that is on it ... being disguised as Telecom Policy." Palmer particularly warns broadcasters of the potential negative impact because their streamed content could be "blocked by the FCC if it is considered by anyone as ‘questionable.'"

The FCC will probably receive those and many more comments after it officially opens its books on how the public feels about the Commission's "information service" classification, including how it impacts terrestrial wireless and satellite broadband which, some believe, are already covered by Title III wireless regulations.

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