Net Neutrality Gets Boost From Key Congressman
Efforts to prevent network operators from blocking or slowing Internet traffic got a boost Thursday morning from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, who said he would co-sign a bill that would codify net neutrality.
During a subcommitee oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission, Waxman said:
"Industry will benefit from clarity, consistency, and predictability with regard to Net neutrality," Waxman said at the hearing. "I think that the time is right to formally establish, through legislation if required, the rules of the road with respect to Net neutrality."
Waxman said he would sign onto a bill cosponsored by Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) that would prevent telecom and cable operators from blocking, slowing or charging more for certain traffic to run on their networks.
Public interest groups blasted off press releases minutes after his remarks hailing Waxman for his supportive comments during the otherwise tame hearing.
Still, telecom and cable industry watchers say any action on net neutrality would likely come in the form of new rules from the Federal Communications Commission. There has been talk of an additional rule to its four principles on how network operators can manage their networks. With a wireless competition review underway, industry insiders are also speculating whether the FCC may introduce new net neutrality rules for the wireless industry.
September 17, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
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