Answering members of the House Financial Services subcommittee, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski defended costs associated with the FCC’s implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and with any court challenge that is bound to arise from FCC efforts to reclassify broadband transmission services following the D.C. Circuit’s ruling last April in the Comcast-BitTorrent case. In a 23-page letter released by the FCC last Thursday, Genachowski replied to questions that were raised by Representative John Culbertson (R-TX) and other subcommittee lawmakers as a follow-up to the hearing that was conducted on June 9. That hearing was convened to consider a request by the Obama Administration for an increase in the FCC’s FY 2011 budget (from $335.8 million to $352.5 million) to assist the FCC in broadband mapping and other tasks associated with the implementation of NBP and to achieve other goals that include a national spectrum inventory. Addressing Culbertson’s inquiry as to how much time, money, and effort the FCC expects to spend to defend any rules that come out of proceedings to reclassify broadband transmission services under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, Genachowski noted that annual regulatory fees assessed by the FCC would cover any legal process that, ultimately, takes two-to-three years to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. As such, Genachowski maintained that “lawsuits are filed regardless of whether the Commission comes out one way or the other, and it is impossible to quantify the incremental cost of adopting one particular legal or policy approach, as opposed to an alternative path.” With respect to Culbertson’s request for clarification of the FCC’s goal in proposing “to dramatically increase the level of regulation on Internet service providers,” Genachowski reiterated that the Comcast-BitTorrent ruling casts “doubt on whether the legal framework the Commission chose for broadband Internet services nearly a decade ago is adequate,” as he stressed that the reclassification proceeding “is about fixing the basic legal foundation for broadband policy, which will enable us to accomplish widely supported goals.”