Amazon to Senate: Net Neutrality Draft Needs Work

Amazon has a lot of issues with the Republican proposal for new network neutrality rules, but it is O.K. with charging a 24/7 gamer more for access than an infrequent e-mail user, and with defining the limits of the FCC's authority over the Internet.

In prepared testimony for the Jan. 21 hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee, Paul Misener, Amazon VP for global public policy, said that depending on how it was interpreted, the company also supports the bill's capping of the FCC's authority, but only if the bill does not also rescind its Title II authority.

"Subsection (b) says that the FCC 'may not expand … Internet openness obligations … beyond the obligations established' in the bill 'whether by rulemaking or otherwise,'” Misener said. “The word ‘expand’ is vague, but if the intention here is to establish a ceiling for these obligations, i.e., a cap on the FCC’s authority respecting the substantive provisions of the bill, this is Congress’s prerogative and reasonable expectation; we certainly don’t support allowing an agency to act beyond its statutory authority, and would support a provision like this, if the bill went only so far."

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.