Net Neutrality Gets a Hearing — & Proposal

Posted by Sam Churchill on

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to outline proposals for new Net Neutrality rules on Monday that would require Internet providers to treat all legal Web traffic equally, according to the Wall Street Journal. The rules would be extended to include wireless arms of giants like AT&T and Verizon as well as cable providers like Comcast.

Senior House Democrats told the Federal Communications Commission it should do more to stop Internet providers from playing favorites among content providers, brushing aside opposition from Republicans and some large telecom companies.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said at a hearing Thursday that he will put his weight behind a “net neutrality” bill introduced by Reps. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D., Calif.). The bill would bar Internet service providers from blocking or prioritizing legal content on the Web.

But big cable and telecommunications providers such as AT&T., Verizon and Comcast oppose such rules. They say they should have flexibility to manage traffic on their networks, and limit applications — like video streaming — that gobble bandwidth and can slow service.

Republican lawmakers said they would fight net neutrality legislation.

At the same hearing, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he supports legislation to overhaul the Universal Service Fund program, so that subsidies currently used just for phone connections in rural areas can also be used to subsidize Internet access.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 8:03 am .

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