Eleven Republicans from the Senate Commerce Committee are demanding that the Federal Communications Commission conduct a cost-benefit analysis of net neutrality rules designed to prevent anticompetitive behavior online.
In a letter sent Wednesday to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the Republicans request that the agency review the rules under a new Executive Order to reduce regulation.
On July 11, President Obama issued the order, which formally asked independent agencies to join executive agencies in reducing regulations that place unnecessary burdens on businesses.
"We believe that had these Executive Orders been implemented before net neutrality orders were approved by a vote of 3-2 by the FCC on December 21, 2010, the Commission would have made a more informed decision," the letter says. "Therefore, we respectfully request that before net neutrality rules go into effect, you honor the intent of the President's Executive Order by applying a retrospective review towards the net neutrality order and pursuing a cost benefit analysis."
The FCC's much-maligned net neutrality regulations were enacted in December but have yet to take effect. Republicans criticize the rules as unnecessary and overly burdensome for Internet companies, while supporters argue the protections are needed to prevent companies from restricting access online.
The letter was signed by Commerce Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas; and Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; Jim DeMint, R-S.C.; Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; Roy Blunt, R-M.O.; Patrick Toomey, R-Penn., Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; John Thune, R-S.D.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; and John Boozman, R-Ark.