Now that the FCC has submitted its national broadband plan recommendations to Congress, the politics are kicking into high gear.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday held a hearing that saw unhappy Republicans complain about certain provisions. For one thing, they don’t like that the plan doesn’t say no to reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service, like phone service.
“The worst idea I’ve heard in years is reclassification,” Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said, according to PC World. “I don’t want to regulate broadband like we regulated telephone service in the 1930s.”
Public interest groups including Public Knowledge want more stringent government oversight of high-speed Internet so consumers are guaranteed protections such as net neutrality.
Other Republicans protested the FCC’s proposal that broadband providers be required to share their networks with rivals, and still others questioned whether a national broadband plan is even needed.
Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce Committee, meanwhile, has postponed its scheduled March 23 hearing on the national broadband plan to April 14. Members have not said why they changed the date, and so abruptly, but observers think it has to do with the health care reform bill.