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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 06/11/2010

Union Square Ventures wants broadband reclassification

By Mike Shepard

Brad Burnham, founding partner of Union Square Ventures and an investor in some cutting-edge tech firms, thinks that the Federal Communications Commission should reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service.

In this video interview with Post Tech, Burnham -- whose venture capital firm has invested in companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga, and Boxee -- says he thinks broadband access providers need a strong watchdog to ensure that smaller Web companies get a fair shot at growing.

He was in Washington to tell this to lawmakers and drum up support for an idea that is being strongly opposed by broadband service providers such as Verizon, AT&T, and cable operators.

The FCC will begin a process of redefining broadband as a telecommunications service next Thursday at its open meeting. Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn in the past two weeks reiterated their support for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan for reclassification. Republican Commissioner Meredith Baker said at a conference yesterday that she thinks the move is unneeded and a back door for more regulation.

By Mike Shepard  | June 11, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Broadband, Comcast, FCC, Media, Net Neutrality, VIDEOS  
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Next: Google: for three years we may have collected personal data from Street View cars

Comments

As usual, Cecilia Kang -- Google's wholly owned reporter at the Washington Post -- gives center stage to a financier with a vested interest in Google's regulatory agenda and offers no counterpoint. How much longer will the Post tolerate Kang's biased output, which better fits the definition of "lobbying" than that of journalism?

Posted by: LBrettGlass | June 11, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Brett is a knowledgeable and articulate presence in telecom whom I respect, but I don't always agree with him. I think he is being unfair to Ms. Kang with regard to Google bias. On May 3, for example, she devoted an entire column to the Free Press on network neutrality which advocates a reclassification to common carrier, in contrast to Mr. Burnham's position. Over many columns, I think she is balanced. I don't think every blog post or column has to put forth all sides. You only have a few hundred words. Over time I expect more balance, but I'm not keeping track and if it ends up being 60-40 one way or another, I don't care.

Ms. Kang, Mr. Glass is a prominent enough figure that you might seek him out for an interview for a column. Not to quiet his criticism, but it would be worthy in itself.

Posted by: ObamasGulfResponseIsMuchWorseThanKatrina | June 11, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou116 | June 12, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The commenter two messages above appears to be confused.

Free Press, a Google lobbying group, is lobbying for the same things advocated by the VC in this article. So, Ms. Kang's constant quoting of the astroturf lobbyists of Free Press demonstrates that she is, indeed, "Google's reporter at the Post."

Posted by: LBrettGlass | June 13, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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