Rep. Boucher loses, opens uncertainty for tech, telecom legislation
For the tech and telecom industries, the loss of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) to Republican Morgan Griffith in midterm elections Tuesday creates legislative uncertainty.
With nearly three decades in office, Boucher has become a veteran voice on policy issues as chairman of the House Communications, Technology and Internet subcommittee. In the past year, he introduced Internet privacy legislation that balances business interests in data collection with requirements that companies get voluntary approval from users before collecting the most sensitive information. He supported net neutrality and co-sponsored a bill to reform a $7 billion rural phone program, the Universal Service Fund, to include funds for broadband expansion grants.
"Rick Boucher has been one of the most moderate and thoughtful voices on communications and intellectual property policy," said Gigi Sohn, president of media reform group Public Knowledge.
Under the new Republican majority in the House, the subcommittee isn't expected to move forward on net neutrality legislation. Universal service reforms are also in doubt without Boucher, analysts say.
photo credit: Rick Boucher, WSJ
| November 2, 2010; 11:31 PM ET
Categories: Net Neutrality
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