FCC dealt major blow in net neutrality ruling favoring, Comcast

Richard Bennett richard at bennett.com
Sat Apr 10 16:43:53 CDT 2010

The FCC is structured in such a way that the chairman calls all the 
shots on policy matters. In this instance, the former chairman, Kevin 
Martin, was responsible for the Comcast order but the current chairman, 
Julius Genachowski, had to defend it in court. Some wags insist that the 
defense was a bit lackluster because Genachowski didn't much care for 
the legal basis of the Comcast order, which relied on a lot of smoke and 
mirrors to regulate aspects of edge network behavior that Congress never 
told the FCC to regulate. The defense relied on some legal theories that 
weren't used in the order itself, and that's a no-no in an appeal. The 
court took the rather extraordinary step of suggesting arguments that 
the FCC could have used in the appeal that it didn't use.

  The murky status of Internet regulation is actually quite enjoyable to 
network operators and to policy wonks alike because it allows maximum 
freedom of action. This will continue, of course, until Congress tells 
the FCC to go regulate the Internet according to some yet-to-be-defined 


On 4/10/2010 1:36 PM, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:
> On Apr 9, 2010, at 7:04 PM, Jared Mauch wrote:
>> >  I believe you are doing a disservice to the FCC by making these inflammatory statements.
> And here I thought I was defending them for being different&  better than the last group.
> The point is, joe asked about the FCC that made a ruling.  The staffers who work hard (and deserve lots of credit for working hard) do not make those rulings.  The political appointees and their handlers in the administration make those rulings.  Those appointees are very different than the last group.  And I think this is a very good thing.
> For instance, could you in your wildest dreams have imagined the last group sending their top people to NANOG, and those people standing around asking people to talk to them?  That was AWESOME, and very different than the "last FCC".
> And I don't think there is anything wrong with thinking of it that way.
> -- TTFN, patrick
>> >  There are plenty of GOOD people at the FCC, I'm guessing you may not have spent much time talking to them.  (I met with the FCC about CALEA due to concerns about there being no mature 10G intercept platforms.  There are vendors that are shipping devices that are not CALEA compliant, but may be compliant under other lawful intercept methods/statutes).
>> >  
>> >  You have to understand that there are political appointees (that must be confirmed) and the regular staffers that operate in this space.  The federal register and comment process is abundant, allowing people to file comments on nearly anything the government is discussing.
>> >  
>> >  If you've not engaged in getting the daily notices from the Federal Register, and did not file form 445, you may want to take a look at it.  Phone the FCC.  Phone the DoJ and ask for the "CALEA Implementation Unit", the folks there are behind thehttp://askcalea.net  website.
>> >  
>> >  As with many things, there is a lot of (mis-)information out there.
>> >  
>> >  (Gotta run kids are bleeding!).
>> >  

Richard Bennett
Research Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Washington, DC

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