Walden: Obama hypocritical on Internet freedom

The rules require Internet service providers to offer access to all websites equally. Supporters say the rules are critical for ensuring an open and vibrant Internet, but critics say they unnecessarily stifle businesses.

Walden, who was speaking at a Washington event hosted by the Villanova School of Business, said a pending executive order on cybersecurity will also hamper the ability of the United States to criticize other countries that try to control the Internet.

White House officials are currently drafting an order that would encourage operators of "critical infrastructure" to meet minimum cybersecurity standards.

"International advocates of internet regulation by government through the United Nations are almost certain to cite cybersecurity and such an executive order as justification for their own efforts to further regulate the Internet at the [World Conference on International Telecommunications]," Walden said.

The GOP lawmaker said that in the next congress, his panel will focus on giving businesses the tools they need to succeed rather than imposing more regulations.

He said the Communications and Technology Subcommittee will examine the radio frequencies controlled by federal agencies to determine how much can be freed up for commercial use.

Cell carriers have struggled in recent years to keep pace with the booming data demands of smartphones and tablet computers.

"While it may be too late to move such legislation this Congress, the need for both revenue and spectrum will only increase," Walden said.

He said he will also keep a close eye on the FCC's efforts to auction TV broadcast airwaves to cell carriers. Congress authorized the auctions earlier this year.

Walden said he will renew his push for the FCC Process Reform Act. The House passed his bill earlier this year, but the Senate declined to take it up.

The legislation would require the FCC to demonstrate the necessity of new regulations, restrict the types of conditions the agency could impose on corporate mergers and require the agency to set binding timelines for its proceedings.

Walden said the bill would create more transparency and accountability at the FCC, but Democrats argue it would hamstring the agency's ability to protect consumers.

Walden said he has heard that the mere introduction of his bill "has forced the FCC to be a little more wary of overreaching."

He said his subcommittee will consider whether it is necessary to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the 1992 Cable Act, foundational laws that govern the communications marketplace.

He said he will also work to ensure that Congress reauthorizes a satellite television law before it expires at the end of 2014.