FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.

The FCC’s Michael O’Rielly, one of two Republican commissioners since being sworn into office last November, today warned against the commission using what he called “newly invented authority to regulate the Internet.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has declined to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, which would open Internet Service providers up to the same type of common carriage rules that apply to the country’s phone system. But he’s continuing to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires the FCC to accelerate broadband deployment, as justification for a new set of net neutrality rules—despite a federal appeals court striking down anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules previously implemented using that authority.
Net neutrality advocates have argued that Section 706 doesn’t provide strong enough authority to prevent ISPs from abusing their market power. O’Rielly agrees in a sense, though unlike net neutrality supporters, he isn’t pushing the FCC to use its common carriage powers, either. In an op-ed for The Hill today, O’Rielly wrote:
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