FCC Plugs Along With Broadband Plan

Broadband the FCC Web site the ruling earlier this week

On its Website, the FCC has organized all the steps it needs to accomplish in order to make the NBP a reality. Citizens can view the organization's progress from the current quarter through the year's end, and can also see how each item aligns to the various goals outlined in the plan.

But Tuesday's ruling for the cable company and against the FCC has broad implications for broadband -- and what body, if any, will regulate it.

"Unbridled competition will unleash new innovations and advancements that will transform broadband, and American consumers and families will reap the benefits," wrote Congressman Fred Upton (R-Michigan). "Today's decision is a victory for innovation and competition, a victory for broadband development."

Others viewed it as a blow to the FCC's commitment to net neutrality. S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, an intervenor in the case, said in a statement, " As a result of this decision, the FCC has virtually no power to stop Comcast from blocking Web sites. The FCC has virtually no power to make policies to bring broadband to rural America, to promote competition, to protect consumer privacy or truth in billing. This cannot be an acceptable outcome for the American public." The FCC has extended the deadline for public comment on net neutrality rules.

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However, in a statement Thursday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, "The court decision earlier this week does not change our broadband policy goals, or the ultimate authority of the FCC to act to achieve those goals. The court did not question the FCC's goals; it merely invalidated one technical, legal mechanism for broadband policy chosen by prior Commissions."