When asked about the impact of the FCC's new net neutrality rules, top cable-industry executives have offered up a somewhat unified response: the effects should be minimal as long as the agency holds true to its promise not regulate rates.
If their minds needed to be put at ease, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler offered up yet more reassurance while being grilled for a third consecutive day by Republicans on House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
When GOP committee members dwelled on the possibility that the net neutrality rules might lead to rate regulation, Ajit Pai, one of two GOP commissioners at the FCC, said the mandate "explicitly opens the door" for an unhappy ISP subscriber to challenge their broadband pricing with the FCC.
"It's ultimately up to the caprice of any commission," Pai said.
For his part, Wheeler says he welcomes such a such a challenge. "There will be a process that will look at that and develop a record that would make it very clear that the FCC is not in the consumer rate regulation business," he said.
Earlier in the hearing, committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) dismissed the nearly 4 million comments the FCC received favoring strong net neutrality rules, calling them "click-bait emails that interest groups can generate."
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