Congress could revamp the 1996 Telecom Act

Just as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski faces Congressional criticism for his ‘third way' proposal to net neutrality, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House and Senate want to see how they can update the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996.

According to a Bloomberg report, Congress is going to start "a process to develop proposals" to update the 1934 Communications Act, which was updated by Congress in 1996. Leading the charge are Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Va., chairman of the Commerce Committee, and Rep. Henry Waxman of California, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

This is not the first time Congress tried to revise the 1996 Telecom Act. A similar move was defeated in 2006 when Democrats in the Senate argued that the proposal did not include net neutrality rules. Net neutrality has become a regulatory hot button recently. In April, a U.S. federal court ruled that the FCC did not have the authority to regulate Comcast's network management methods.

At this point, the FCC declined comment on Congress' proposal to revise the 1996 Telecom Act.

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