Background: Earlier today, Ranking House Commerce Committee Republican Joe Barton (TX) and Ranking Communications Subcommittee member Cliff Stearns (FL) sent a letter to the leaders of the House Commerce Committee requesting a hearing on the FCC’s actions of today regarding broadband.
You can read the text of the letter here.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“For weeks now, critics of the proposed actions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make certain all consumers benefit from broadband have claimed that it was the job of Congress to set new rules. That argument was the basis of several letters sent to the FCC by Republicans and Democrats.
“Now it appears that leading FCC critics Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) have made obvious what we have said all along. The move to urge Congressional action in lieu of FCC action is a sham. In a letter asking for a hearing on the FCC actions today, Barton and Stearns said they ‘do not see any urgency to legislate’ on broadband issues. They don’t want the FCC to act, but they don’t want Congress to act, either.
“The result of their policy is that millions of rural consumers, in Texas, Florida and other states, would be left out of the 21st century economy, while the FCC would have no authority to act on issues of privacy, cybersecurity, access by the disabled and a host of other issues.
“We agree with Reps. Barton and Stearns to a certain extent. While Congress is welcome to legislate, there is no need to do so. We think the FCC is proceeding in a perfectly proper manner to advance the goals of the National Broadband Plan and should be allowed to continue to do so.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.