FCC's Clyburn: New broadband rules not backdoor for net neutrality


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On May 11, Federal Communications Commission member Mignon Clyburn spoke at the Free Press policy summit, stressing that the agency's plans to rein in high-speed Internet providers is not exclusively an attempt to institute tough net neutrality rules.

While Commissioner Clyburn said she actively supports open Internet, she described Chairman Julius Genachowski's newly proposed regulations on broadband companies as the only way to enact widely supported measures in the National Broadband Plan, which were cast in jeopardy following an April court ruling. "At the outset, it must be made absolutely clear that the issue of reclassification goes far beyond our open-Internet proceeding," said Commissioner Clyburn. "It involves some of the most important parts of our National Broadband Plan. Without reclassification, the road to achieving each of these issues is laden with landmines and is likely to fail." The commission has no plans to "takeover the Internet," nor does it hope to impose new, burdensome rules on broadband providers, she added. Rather, the FCC only hopes to restore the rules "that almost everyone assumed we had" before a federal court ruled in April that the FCC's means of enforcing them were not legally sound, Commissioner Clyburn said. She also called for the FCC to hold public field hearings on the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture.

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