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FCC Calls Off Stakeholders Meetings

FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus Thursday ended the stakeholder discussions he has been hosting over the past few weeks on targeted network neutrality legislation.

"We have called off this round of stakeholder discussions," he said in a statement. "It has been productive on several fronts, but has not generated a robust framework to preserve the openness and freedom of the Internet -- one that drives innovation, investment, free speech, and consumer choice."

That came after reports that two of the stakeholders had cut a side deal on network management and the chairman defended the meetings in a press conference following the FCC's monthly meeting.

"All options remain on the table as we continue to seek broad input on this vital issue."

The meetings had been among representatives of Google and Verizon--who reportedly are close to their own agreement on online traffic management--as well as Skype, AT&T, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the Open Internet Coaltion.

The meetings had been criticized by some of the members of that coalition and others not at the table.