In the wake of Comcast emerging triumphant over the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a court spat regarding the media company’s throttling of peer-to-peer traffic, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has a serious decision to make.
A picture USA Today paints of the situation insinuates that Genachowski has two choices: he can attempt to get regulators to define broadband Internet as a “highly regulated common carrier service like telephones,” or “he can let cable and phone companies call the shots by allowing it to remain a lightly regulated information service.”
If the chairman did choose the first course of action, he would likely witness an “all-out attack” on the FCC from cable and phone companies. Subscribing to the second, laissez-faire school of thought would probably force Genachowski to shelve, or change, initiatives like the National Broadband Policy and/or Net Neutrality.
Verizon Executive Tom Tauke called the current laws, “badly out of date,” while Andrew Schwartman of the Media Access Project, stated that any major new law would “surely take a year or two” to get through Congress, time that Genachowski does not appear to have.
The solution? Perhaps a compromise:
… he could agree to take broadband reclassification off the table as long as providers make legally binding promises to offer consumer protections called for in the National Broadband Plan and to agree to treat all Web services equally. But it will be hard to please everybody as advocates gear up for a fight.