FCC’s slow pace on Internet rules puzzles some

  • Internet rules not likely to take effect until fall
  • Some wonder if FCC intentionally delaying
  • FCC says Paperwork Reduction Act slowing process

Jasmin Melvin

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. communications regulator has been oddly slow in unleashing new powers to police the Internet, six months after finalizing the controversial rules.

The delay has kept the rules in a glass box, both preventing the Federal Communications Commission from cracking down on unwarranted blocking of Internet content and keeping legal challenges at bay.

The rules, adopted last December, give the FCC power to ensure consumer access to huge movie files and other content while allowing ISPs like Verizon Communications (VZ.N) and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) to manage their networks to prevent congestion.

It is the latest twist in the so-called net neutrality debate, which pitted content providers who wanted protection against the blocking or degrading of their services against Internet service providers that wanted to “control the pipeline.”

Some accuse the FCC of intentional foot-dragging on what it knows is a hot potato, because as soon as the rules are implemented they are sure to be challenged in court by corporations. In order for the rules to take effect, the agency must publish them in the Federal Register.

Industry sources and former regulators are scratching their heads about what they call an extraordinarily long time between the FCC’s adoption of the rules and publication to put them into effect.

The FCC, however, claims that any delay is not intentional.

Analysts could not pinpoint a reason for the delay in unleashing the new powers, but did not rule out the idea the FCC was stalling court and congressional challenges…

The article continues at Reuters

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