The Net Neutrality game just got a whole lot more interesting. Until a couple of hours ago, the talk of reclassifying broadband Internet access into a more legally defensible regulatory bucket was primarily limited to public interest groups like ours. Tech companies, even those who support Net Neutrality, didn’t want to go there. The Commission said nary a word. The big telecom and cable companies put the kibosh on the idea whenever they had a chance.
What changed was a little letter that went over to the Commission from Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Commerce Committee and Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Just like that, all the talk of “reclassification” went from being the province of those at the bleeding edge of the debate to the mainstream of the debate. The chairman said that in considering all “viable options” of how to respond to the Comcast court decision, the FCC could also include on that list “a change in classification” as long as it was a “light regulatory touch” type of change.
This letter could be the tipping point in getting the Hamlet of 12th (SW) off the dime. Now he knows that he’s got Congressional leadership cover. Now those companies wary of making a splash (unlike big telecom and cable companies, who make a big splash whenever they feel like it without fear) can come out from behind the bushes or wherever they were hiding and endorse a couple of committee chairman while helping Genachowski decide on the policy option they thought all along was correct.