Today is Election Day, and according to pundits, pollsters and… well, pretty much everyone, the Republicans are set to make big gains — which could have a major effect on tech policy. As Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post reports:
What does it mean if Joe Barton (R-Tex), Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) or Fred Upton (R-Mich.) lead the committee? Gridlock on telecom and tech policy, analysts say.
“I don’t anticipate significant change in telecom legislation in the next two years,” said Earl Comstock, head of Comstock Consulting and former legislative director for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Observers say there is little to distinguish the three on their approach to tech and telecom policy. All three will strongly oppose legislation on net neutrality and may even threaten to take away funding from the Federal Communications Commission if FCC Chairman Julius Geanchowski pushes through on his proposed regulation.
Upton has called Genachowski’s push to reassert authority over broadband services a “blind power grab.” Barton dismissed legislation for net neutrality by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) last month. And Stearns said that a net neutrality bill needs more consideration, and that if the FCC tries to redefine broadband as a telecom service, he’d pull funding for the agency.