Free Press: Genachowski Has 'Hemmed, Hawed and Hedged' On Broadband Reclassification

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Free Press is putting a full-court press on the Federal Communications Commission to try to get it to move quickly to establish its network management and network neutrality regulatory powers.

Saying that FCC chairman Julius Genachowski was dodging questions about how the agency will proceed, Free Press has started a clock (almost 21 days and counting) ticking off the time since the April 6 BitTorrent decision in the D.C. federal appeals court.

As the FCC's deadline for reply comments came and went on April 26, the call mounted from many industry players for the FCC not to rush to reclassify broadband under a more regulatory regime, but instead wait for Congress to provide a clearer set of instructions.

On the other side were groups like Free Press, pushing the FCC to quickly establish its authority so that it can expand and codify its network neutrality guidelines and clear up any questions about its ability to implement key elements of the national broadband plan, particularly transitioning the universal service fund from phone to broadband support.

The FCC has left the Internet unprotected, according to Free Press.

"The FCC chairman has promised the American public that he would defend net neutrality and take any steps needed to ensure that every American can get fast, affordable, world-class Internet service," said Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron in announcing the effort. "Yet over the past three weeks, when asked how his agency was going to put the National Broadband Plan and the ongoing open Internet proceeding on solid legal ground, Chairman Genachowski has hemmed, hawed and hedged, saying only that his lawyers were considering next steps."