The head of the Federal Communications Commission vowed to press ahead with the broadband expansion plan despite a court ruling that undermined the agency’s authority to manage networks. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the appeals court ruling was narrowly cast and he issued a timetable for public comment and rulemaking on broadband goals ranging from reallocating airwaves to expanding Internet access for rural and low-income households.
The ruling in favour of Comcast dealt a blow to proponents of Net Neutrality, who argue that providers should treat all traffic on the Internet equally, and to the FCC’s authority to oversee the Internet. “The court decision does not change our broadband policy goals, or the ultimate authority of the FCC to act to achieve those goals,” Genachowski said in a statement that included the opening of more than 60 proceedings on elements of the National Broadband Plan.
“The court did not question the FCC’s goals; it merely invalidated one technical, legal mechanism for broadband policy chosen by prior commissions,” he said.