On Monday, twenty Republican members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, led by ranking House Communications subcommittee member Cliff Stearns (R-FL), advised FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to conduct “a thorough market analysis” before proceeding with a proposal to codify net neutrality principles that were adopted by the FCC in 2005. On October 22, the FCC is expected officially to set in motion rulemaking proceedings to codify the FCC’s four net neutrality principles (plus additional rules pertaining to web network management and nondiscrimination) as announced by Genachowski in a recent speech to the Brookings Institution. While the plan is supported by consumer advocates, wireline and wireless carriers such as Verizon Communications and AT&T say the proposed rules will negatively impact their ability to provide sufficient network capacity to all broadband customers as video file sharing and other bandwidth-intensive applications continue to proliferate. Opponents also warn that a net neutrality mandate will discourage investment in broadband network facilities. In a letter to Genachowski, the congressmen noted that a string of FCC decisions handed down since 2002 on the topics of cable modem service, digital subscriber line service, broadband over power lines and wireless broadband service were premised on the concept that the U.S. broadband market is competitive. Declaring that “the FCC bears the responsibility to prove a market failure” before net neutrality rules are adopted, the lawmakers told Genachowski that the FCC must identify specific industry practices that warrant the agency’s intervention, as they asserted that the mere possibility of discrimination does not constitute a sufficient trigger for increased regulation. The signatories further contend that a notice of inquiry (instead of the rulemaking notice proposed by Genachowski) provides the best framework for such an analysis and that such an inquiry should await the completion of the ARRA broadband stimulus program and the FCC’s broadband mapping project. Even if an entity is determined to possess market power, the lawmakers said the FCC must gather evidence that consumers have been harmed through the exercise of that power before it enacts net neutrality regulation.