The controversy surrounding the attempts by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose Internet regulations has resurfaced after reports suggested its chairman is looking for a new way to do so after his first attempt was blocked by a court.
Last month, the United States District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC had overstepped its jurisdiction when it attempted to impose net neutrality rules on Comcast, which had blocked its subscribers from using the file-sharing website BitTorrent.
Now, the Center for Individual Freedom (CIF) warns that Julius Genacowski is planning to seek to reclassify broadband services under New Deal-era "common carrier" laws created for early landline telephone technology, in an effort to continue to purse the government’s goal of regulating the Internet.
"The FCC should not attempt to apply archaic 1930s rules to 21st century technologies. This move will do nothing but stifle innovation, investment and growth within the broadband sector," said Timothy Lee, CIF’s vice president of Legal and Public Affairs.
The proposed "net neutrality" rules would prevent companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from restricting access to Internet content, applications and services offered by competitors such as Google, Skype and Facebook. The FCC counter critics’ claims by saying it is fighting for "free and open" Internet.