The FCC goes to Capitol Hill — testimony preview

Chairman Genachowski to address criticism to his rules: "Some people say that our open Internet framework doesn’t go far enough. Some people say it goes too far. I believe we did the right thing, and I am proud of the fact that our framework has attracted support from the broadest consensus ever assembled on this challenging topic. Our framework has drawn support from groups and individuals representing the technology industry; investors small and large; consumers, labor and civil rights groups; and major broadband providers."

Clyburn to point to support from broadband providers: "Since we adopted the Open Internet Order, some of the leading executives at telecommunications and technology companies, such as DISH, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, have publicly stated that our ruling will have no adverse effect in the communications marketplace. Analysts have also kept their fingers off of the alarm buttons, saying our rules are in fact a light touch that will ultimately provide for a common-sense framework."

Baker to describe the "dramatic" consequences of the rules: "All regulations have costs, and the costs of Net Neutrality regulations going forward could be dramatic given the potential distortive effect of government micromanagement of broadband networks. This could be to the direct detriment of consumers and entrepreneurs who will be adversely affected if network upgrades and improvements are delayed or forgone. The open-ended nature of the decision — both in how it was legally justified and in the number of issues left undefined or undecided — will only breed greater regulatory uncertainty, which necessarily raises the cost of capital for infrastructure investment."

Copps to explain why the rules do not go far enough: "This is not about government regulating the Internet. It is about ensuring that consumers, rather than Big Telephone or Big Cable, have maximum control of their experiences when they go online. To be sure, there is more that I would have liked to see in the Order. I would have preferred to see, for example, real parity in the treatment of fixed and mobile broadband access. The Internet is the Internet, no matter how you access it, and the millions of citizens going mobile for their Internet access and the entrepreneurs creating innovative wireless content, applications and services should have the same freedoms and protections as those in the wired context. I recognize there are differences requiring some different treatment as wireless technologies evolve, but I believe our rules can accommodate those differences and the principles should stand."

McDowell to call for finding common ground: "A little secret about the FCC: More than 90 percent of our votes are not only bipartisan, but unanimous. I have enjoyed working with my colleagues on many recent initiatives including continuation of our long-standing work on unlicensed use of the TV white spaces, simplifying the process for the construction of cell towers, spectrum reallocation, and initiating the next step in comprehensive universal service reform. Obviously, we have had a few respectful disagreements as well, such as our differences concerning the new regulations of Internet network management. For your convenience, I have attached a copy of my dissent as Exhibit A. Nonetheless, I am confident that the five of us have the ability and desire to continue to find common ground on an array of other issues that touch the lives of every American every day."