FCCs Clyburn Said to Support Broadband Reclassification

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn is said to support a move to reclassify broadband services as under Title II, or common carrier, regulations.

Clyburn told C-SPAN – in a segment that will first air tomorrow evening – she has not made a firm decision on the matter. But a source close to Clyburn told the Washington Post she’ll side

A source close to Clyburn told the Washington Post the Democratic member likely will side with Chairman Julius Genachowski if he pursues reclassification.

The reclassification issue comes after a federal appeals court told the FCC it overstepped its bounds in 2008 when it tried to punish Comcast Corp. for throttling peer-to-peer Internet traffic. The FCC deregulated DSL and cable modem access during Kevin Martin’s chairmanship; but if commissioners vote to replace the services under Title II, they’ll have the authority to intervene if ISPs discriminate against users’ traffic.

Clyburn told C-SPAN she’s in active talks with the chairman’s office, fellow commissioners, companies and public interest groups about reclassification.

“I’m hopeful that under the current framework, we can achieve objectives I put forth,” Clyburn said, according to the Washington Post. However, she added, “I’m open that if we see in our evaluations that there are deficiencies there…then we need to have a different set of conversations.”

She later clarified her comments in an e-mail to the publication Post Tech (the following is quoted from the Washington Post):

“The Comcast decision is narrow in one respect: it does not state, as some would have it, that the commission cannot regulate the Internet, period. Rather, it held that we do not have the ancillary authority – under Title I – to enforce the four open Internet principles we have had in place for several years. We are therefore not foreclosed from using other sources of authority to enact and enforce rules that enable us to keep the Internet open and free. I am open to all options and believe that we should not be afraid to ask the tough questions in order to find the best way to keep the Internet in the hands of the people and not industry.”

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