FCC's Baker: Net Neutrality -- The Wrong Path for a Pro-Jobs, Pro-Investment Agenda
Originally published: December 9, 2010
Last updated: December 9, 2010 - 8:55pm
Federal Communications Commission member Meredith Baker called on the FCC to immediately make public the chairman's draft of proposed network neutrality rules. In a speech to the Practising Law Institute's Telecommunications & Policy Regulation conference in Washington, Commissioner Baker, who opposes adopting the rules at the December meeting, said: "If this agency is to operate in the most transparent and inclusive manner, we should proactively put out a copy of our draft Net Neutrality rules for comment today. The comment cycle can be short, but putting some sunshine on what we are doing would inform our process." She said that would be a way for the chairman to fulfill his pledge of openness and transparency.
So why doesn't Commissioner Baker, whose office has a copy of the draft, make it public herself? By rule, the commissioners are not allow to make nonpublic information public, said a Baker staffer. That has to come from the chairman or by a commission vote.
She said the FCC was planning to legislate rather than regulate. By taking the item further than network neutrality legislation drafted by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), she said, "we are doing what Congress could not, or would not do." She said the order would essentially by implementing regulations for a statute that was never enacted. "By doing it ourselves, there are no jurisdictional limits. We delegate to ourselves an unbounded regulatory power to adopt policies to promote a particular vision for the Internet. Congress is right to ask us to stand down," she said.
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