Net neutrality will be the focus of some House Democrats on Thursday afternoon, as lawmakers hear the testimony of several experts about the rules originally implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and their repeal in 2017.
Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), who led the ultimately unsuccessful attempt by House lawmakers last year to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the FCC’s repeal, announced last week that the Communications and Technology subcommittee, which he chairs, would make its first hearing about net neutrality.
The hearing, titled “Preserving an Open Internet for Consumers, Small Businesses, and Free Speech,” is scheduled to begin at 10:00am CT in the Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday.
In a statement last week, Doyle said the FCC repeal had “disastrous impacts” and said the hearing would “talk about ways to keep the internet free and open.”
Several experts are scheduled to testify in front of the committee including: former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler; Jessica Gonzalez, the senior counsel and vice president of strategy for internet rights group Free Press; Mozilla COO Denelle Dixon; and former FCC chairman Michael Powell, among others.
The opening remarks for all of those testifying are on the subcommittee’s website.
Several the witnesses are involved in the legal battle that took place last week in the United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, where proponents of net neutrality argued the legality of the FCC’s Resorting Internet Freedom Order, which rescinded the previous net neutrality rules.
The hearing comes on the heels of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce taking an aggressive approach to its oversight of the FCC. Doyle and Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai earlier this week demanding answers and documents related to a large number of issues, promising that they would “resume its traditional role of oversight.”
How to watch the net neutrality subcommittee hearing
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will have a live stream of the subcommittee hearing available on its website.
You can also watch it here: