In part one of today’s double-dose of net neutrality hearings, issues discussed ranged from wireless to “specialized services.” A couple of the interesting comments from the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing and afterwards highlighted GOP thinking on net neutrality and draft bill that was released by Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Commerce Science Transportation Committees last week.
“I’m a paid prioritization guy,” said Illinois Republican John Shimkus, arguing money has to be made if billions of dollars are going to be invested every year-and-a-half and that his position has been to ensure expansion of Internet infrastructure.
“But that was then, this is now,” he said. “We’re in a new world order where I think we have now looked at the debate and said… we need to get this monkey off our back.”
Some certainty and rules were needed, he said.
Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., answering a question from a reporter about whether he was worried that some conservatives wouldn’t back any type of Internet regulation, said:
They’ll have to make their own decisions, but I think in the face of what the FCC’s going to do is far worse and not legally sustainable and will have a negative effect on the market that… they’ll see this as a better course of action with certainty. And we found support among a lot of those groups who like we didn’t think that the Internet’s broken and needed top-down government control. We can offer up something different and better here that enshrines the principals people care about without this forbearance of all these laws.
Walden, who released the draft bill last week with full panel chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Senate Commerce Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., later said: “If it’s gonna be done, it’s going to be done. Right? The FCC’s gonna do it. We’ve got to do it right.”