Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, charged with keeping the House majority.
(Photo: Cliff Owen, AP)

Roger Yu and Mike Snider, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON (USA Today)—The fight over net neutrality played out in a doubleheader of Congressional hearings on Wednesday, with tech industry executives both supporting and jabbing at Republicans’ newfound love of open Internet policies.

In a House hearing in the morning, key players who have supported the telecom industry told lawmakers that they favor keeping the Internet free from interference by Internet service providers, but labeling ISPs as public utilities would impose difficult burdens on their business.

If the Federal Communications Commission were to draft new ISP-as-public-utility rules –— often referred to as Title II, a provision of the Communications Act of 1934 — it would make it tough for ISPs to invest in innovation, they argued. Legislation enacted by Congress would be a better way to chart the future of the Internet, they said.



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