Originally published: May 13, 2010
Last updated: May 13, 2010 - 3:36pm
Facing a tough, cable industry crowd, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski tried to convince the audience his week-old "third way" proposal shouldn't freak them out.
Responding to questions from the National Cable and Telecommunications Administration's Kyle McSlarrow, Chairman Genachowski said this is just the "pre-beginning" of finding the best way to deal with the fallout from the recent court decision overturning the FCC's legal reasoning for broadband regulation. Nothing that's happened in the past few weeks "changes one iota" of our policies, goals and outcomes, he said. But, "that court decision in the Comcast case damaged the legal foundation underneath the policies." The goal, he explained, is to put up "barriers against regulatory creep, regulatory overreach" but put the FCC back to where it was before the Comcast decision. He promised no rate regulation, wholesale unbundling or reselling but McSlarrow zeroed in on the problems the cable companies have relying on the word of the FCC, especially given how tough Genachowski's predecessor Kevin Martin was on the industry. Chairman Genachowski stressed that transparency would limit the need for government regulation and noted that the FCC has never gone back on forbearance decisions. McSlarrow also sought some reassurance that regulating broadband as a utility wouldn't create an uneven playing field at a time of convergence, where companies like Google might have more freedom than the broadband ISPs.
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