(Wall Street Journal) — In a contentious hearing, House Republicans attacked new regulations for broadband Internet lines and criticized the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for adopting them. Republicans are targeting the “net neutrality” rules, which would bar Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic and services, as well as new regulations in such areas as health care and the environment, as unnecessary and overly burdensome on industry.
“Why would you put the government in charge of the Internet?” asked Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, defended the new rules during the hearing, saying the FCC “did the right thing” and that it is “pro-job and pro-investment” for the U.S. economy. Democratic lawmakers on the panel also defended Mr. Genachowski. Sveral said the FCC hadn’t gone far enough in regulating Internet lines. They said the agency should have more firmly established its authority to play Internet traffic cop by reregulating Internet lines under rules designed for land-line phones.