Genachowski Vows To Continue Net Neutrality Push

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Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski Wednesday pledged to keep the faith when it comes to taking steps to insure network neutrality, court case or no.

At opening remarks for an open Internet field hearing in Seattle, Wash., the chairman pointed out that it was only down the road a piece in Hillsboro, Ore., that Comcast's secret blocking of "lawful Internet traffic" was discovered.

That discovery, and others, he said "made clear that an Internet in the dark runs too great a risk of becoming a closed Internet -- with substantial costs to our ability to lead the world in innovation and freedom."

A federal court earlier this month threw out the FCC smackdown of Comcast over that discovery, saying the commission had not clearly established its authority to regulate network management, or in the FCC's view, mismanagement.

"The recent court decision was, of course, an unfortunate development. But it has done nothing to weaken my unwavering commitment to ensuring that the free and open Internet is preserved and protected," he said. "Doing so is crucial for the health of our broadband ecosystem; crucial to the health of our economy, and our democracy; crucial for ensuring free speech and for new speakers continue to flourish online...."

The FCC's lawyers are currently considering their next step, which could be to classify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service subject to more strict regulation--like mandatory access--than it is under its current Title I information service designation.