The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Monday he is "ready, willing and able" to stop broadband providers that unreasonably interfere with subscribers' access to Internet content.
The comment by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin came at the start of a day-long FCC hearing centering on allegations that some broadband providers such as telecommunications and cable companies have been improperly blocking or hindering some content.
"I think it's important to understand that the commission is ready, willing and able to step in if necessary to correct any (unreasonable) practices that are ongoing today," Martin said.
The dispute over so-called "network neutrality" pits open-Internet advocates against some service providers such as Comcast Corp, who say they need to take reasonable steps to manage traffic on their networks.
Martin acknowledged that broadband network operators have a legitimate need to manage the data flowing over their networks. But he said that "does not mean that they can arbitrarily block access to particular applications or services."