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Verizon CEO Seidenberg: open to some compromises, not greater FCC authority over broadband

Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg said Tuesday that the communications giant is willing to find a compromise on federal rules that would prevent it and other broadband Internet service providers from blocking or degrading traffic on their networks.

But Verizon doesn't agree with a controversial proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to redefine those services as regular phone services.

Speaking to the Economic Club of Washington, Seidenberg said that even as the communications giant is trying to work with the agency on broadband rules, it opposes the FCC's controversial proposal to redefine broadband as a telecommunications service. As reported, the FCC has engaged in talks with carriers and Internet companies to find a compromise on net neutrality rules that would help it avoid the controversial redefinition of broadband, which could come with more rules.

"We are very concerned that, in attempting to address legitimate issues about access to the Internet, the FCC has proposed basically an unimaginative and overbearing set of rules that essentially tries to retrofit a new industry into an old framework and expand their regulatory reach well beyond what is necessary," Seidenberg said in his speech. "As we’ve said – and as we’ve demonstrated – communications companies will continue to work with the Commission and the other players in the Internet space to protect customers and ensure an open and robust broadband environment. The FCC’s current course of action will really do little to achieve those objectives."

By Cecilia Kang  |  June 22, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
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