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FCC to give broadband rollouts failing grade again

updated 10:25 am EDT, Tue April 26, 2011

May renew conflict over net neutrality rules

For the second time in as many years, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to issue a report critical of the way broadband service is being extended. Last year's annual "706" report was the first time the commission gave the industry a failing grade for the implementation of broadband service. Those findings were used as part of the rationale for net neutrality regulations proposed by the FCC last year.

Support for last year's report came exclusively from the FCC's Democratic commissioners, while the Republican commissioners voted against the findings. That report, and the net neutrality guidelines that followed, have been the subject of fierce debate. Broadband and wireless provider Verizon has threatened a lawsuit to block implementation of the guidelines. Earlier this year, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted to defund the agency if the rules were enacted.

Industry watchers and agency officials expect the final vote on the report will be split along party lines, just as last year's vote was. For now, the report is in limbo. Commissioners can vote now, while the report is in circulation at the agency, or wait for the FCC chairman to call for a vote at one of the commission's monthly meetings. [via The Hill]

by MacNN Staff



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