BARCELONA – In the face of polite skepticism from GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot at the Mobile Word Congress Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler defended the FCC's order that upholds net neutrality by defining the Internet as a "telecommunications service" subject to Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.
The FCC order, passed on February 26 by a 3-2 vote with strong support from Wheeler and President Barack Obama, met with immediate vituperation from Internet content providers and network operators, from Congressional Republicans, from former FCC Chairman Michael Powell (who originally proposed rules for "net neutrality") and from Ms. Bouverot, who wondered how Wheeler's could support a "1930's law" to regulate a 21st-century technology.
Wheeler responded by recalling his original plan for net neutrality, formed when he took over the FCC chair some 15 months ago. At that time, he favored regulation under a brief provision, Section 706, of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
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