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Communications Law to Be Reviewed

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Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) announced Monday (May 24) that they would hold hearings in June to examine how they Communications Act, last overhauled in 1996, meets the needs of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), consumers, and industry.

The FCC recently announced a plan to reclassify broadband Internet services as a more highly scrutinized telecommunications service, similar to basic telephone service. The reclassification would give the agency the authority to implement parts of its National Broadband Plan and to enforce net neutrality. While Internet service providers have generally opposed the reclassification, many industry leaders are hailing Congress' efforts, as did several consumer groups.

"The FCC's legal authority should be decided by the Congress itself, and not by applying to the Internet a set of onerous rules designed for a different technology, a different situation, and a different era," says AT&T's James Cicconi. It took Congress five years to pass the last major overhaul of telecommunications law.

From The New York Times
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