The controversy surrounding the government’s attempts to impose internet regulations continues, with the Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) announcing it will oppose the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) "third way" approach to network neutrality.
Earlier this year the United States District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC had overstepped its jurisdiction when it tried to impose net neutrality rules on Comcast, which had blocked its subscribers from using the file-sharing website BitTorrent. This effectively closed a similar avenue for regulations, prompting FCC chairman Julius Genacowski to propose a "third way," which would reclassify broadband services under New Deal-era "common carrier" laws created for early landline telephone technology.
This has met with sharp criticism from the two Republican commissioners on the agency’s board, Robert McDowell and Meredith Baker, who said it would lead to regulatory chaos and stifle investment that is necessary to expanding broadband infrastructure and creating jobs.
The ADE has also expressed opposition and urged Congress to play a larger role in the network neutrality debate.
"This policy shift appears to be a risky experiment and will likely lead to higher broadband prices," said ADE chairman Julius H. Hollis.
"As the world of business, medicine and education shift towards a more digital-based economy, the proposal could worsen the problems of [ordinary] Americans, who are already stretched financially and have disproportionately borne the brunt of this recession," added Manuel A. Diaz, vice chairman of the ADE board of directors.