Dems Want More Witnesses at House Net Neutrality Hearing

The ranking members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Communications subcommittee have called on the Republican chairs to add some witnesses to a planned Sept. 7 hearing on network neutrality.

E&C Chairman Greg Walden announced the hearing Tuesday, July 25, and said invitations had been sent to Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet (Google), Netflix, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Charter.

In response to that announcement, ranking E&C member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Communications subcommittee ranking member Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) said the hearing was light on entrepreneurs, small business, consumers and others.

They said they didn't think the committee "could have a serious discussion of this important issue without including the real people affected by the FCC’s proposals," they wrote to Walden and subcommittee chair Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

They pointed out that, as the Republican leadership had emphasized, the heads of eight of the largest companies in the world with a combined $2.5 trillion in market cap.

They said that was hardly representative of the entire internet ecosystem the hearing was billed as exploring.

(Photo via ibmphoto24’s Flickr. Image taken on May 5, 2011 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit a 4x3 aspect ratio.)

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.