FCC Chairman Genachowski knocks Google, Verizon for slowing net-neutrality efforts

In August, the FCC was in the middle of serious negotiations with Internet, phone and cable companies when news leaked that Verizon and Google were on the brink of a separate deal. The FCC’s talks, which aimed to reached a compromise on net-neutrality policy, collapsed and did not produce a deal.

During the interview, Genachowski went further than he normally does in discussing net neutrality, which has become a lightning rod for controversy at his agency. He confirmed that the contentious rules are still on the way. 

“That’ll happen,” Genachowski said of creating net-neutrality rules, which would constrain how phone and cable companies manage Internet traffic on their networks.

Genachowski also touted net-neutrality regulations as one of the most important policies the country can adopt to improve its broadband deployment efforts, which he described as lagging behind other countries.

“One of the basic things we can solve [to] maintain the openness of the pipes is open Internet,” he said, referring to the net-neutrality proceeding. 

The net-neutrality delay continues as the agency’s “very smart lawyers” huddle to examine which legal route to take, Genachowski said. They need to find a framework to justify the rules and insulate them from a court challenge that could lead to a speedy repeal. 

The FCC chairman would not tip his hat on which legal route he prefers. “I’m so happy I’m not doing law full time anymore in part because of issues like this,” he said, noting that the agency has “a lot of options on the table.”

He panned an April court decision that made the legal landscape dicier.

“We were on a course to adopt smart, sensible rules when we got a frustrating and, I think, seriously incorrect decision from the courts,” he said. 

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