"We face the dangerous combination of an uncertain legal framework with ongoing as well as emerging challenges to a free and open Internet," Genachowski said. "Given the potentially huge consequences of having the open Internet diminished through inaction, the time is now to move forward with consideration of fair and reasonable rules of the road, rules that would be enforceable and implemented on a case-by-case basis."
Copps and Clyburn reiterated their positions that enforceable rules governing the flow of information over the Internet is essential to maintain an even playing field, where no application or piece of content has an advantage over another.
"Consumers are the deciders of which businesses thrive at the end of the day," Clyburn said. "That's what this is about — preventing barriers to entry and ensuring Americans have access to the most useful information."
McDowell and Baker maintained their position that there is not sufficient evidence that the Internet needs regulation. Still, they both said they were in favor of a lengthy comment period and healthy debate on the issue.
"I do not share the majority's view that the Internet is showing breaks and cracks and I do not agree the government should be the one to fix it," McDowell said.