Genachowski gets 'Dingell-gram' against FCC power boost

Dingell called instead for Congressional action to clarify the FCC’s authority over broadband, noting an announcement this week by key Democratic chairmen that they will start this year on efforts to update the Communications Act to address new technology.

His overture echoes comments by Republican members who cited the prospect of statutory reform as an additional reason the FCC should not embark on its plan to boost its broadband authority without a congressional mandate, which they also say could harm investment and create regulatory uncertainty for years to come.

Dingell, who prides himself on the thoroughness of his “Dingell-grams” sent on issues of concern, listed five points aimed at undermining the legal basis Genachowski has used to support his plan to change the regulatory classification of broadband service.

US Telecom, the association for broadband providers, immediately praised the letter’s reasoning. “We are encouraged by Mr. Dingell’s recommendation that the FCC set aside this ill-fated plan and instead seek an appropriate delegation of statutory authority from Congress,” President & CEO Walter McCormick said in a statement. Experts, however, say revamping communications law could take years.