Originally published November 30, 2010 at 10:45 PM
Page modified December 1, 2010 at 6:36 AM
Thwarted by the courts, by lawmakers on Capitol Hill and by some of his fellow commissioners, the Federal Communications Commission chairman…
By EDWARD WYATT
The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Thwarted by the courts, by lawmakers on Capitol Hill and by some of his fellow commissioners, the Federal Communications Commission chairman will try again Wednesday to devise a new strategy for regulating broadband Internet service providers.
In a speech, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will outline a framework for broadband Internet service that would forbid both wired and wireless Internet service providers from blocking lawful content. But the proposal would allow broadband providers to charge consumers according to levels of service.
Genachowski has decided not to use the commission’s telephone regulatory powers to govern broadband Internet service, a move that he proposed in May that potentially would have opened Internet service to heavier government regulation.
His plan also would allow broadband providers to manage networks to limit congestion or harmful traffic.
The framework will form the basis for a proposed order scheduled to be voted on during the FCC’s Dec. 21 meeting.
Genachowski says he believes he has the legal authority to act because he argues that his plan would help spread broadband service more widely across the country, a priority that Congress has established as one of the FCC’s mandates. While he has a fair chance of securing the votes of the two other Democrats on the five-person commission, he faces a potential fight with one of those commissioners, Michael Copps, who has been public in his support for stricter regulation of broadband Internet service.
Genachowski also will face significant opposition from Republicans in the House, who last month warned against attempts to regulate broadband service and the Internet.
The chairman intends to say he believes the proposal is necessary to guarantee the Internet continues to be an incubator for innovation by startup companies.