Industry Companies Form Broadband Advisory Group

Broadband and high-tech companies including Google, Comcast and Microsoft are getting together to form a Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group to provide "advice and guidance" on network management practices.

The FCC had proposed assembling such a group as part of its effort to expand and codify its network neutrality guidelines, but industry is beating them to the punch.

The group will be headed by Dale Hatfield, former FCC chief technologist. "TAG will function as a neutral, expert technical forum and promote a greater consensus around technical practices within the Internet community," said Hatfield. Part of that function will be to "help inform federal agencies (e.g., the FCC, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice) in their industry oversight functions."

The group will include representatives of AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, DISH Network, EchoStar, Google, Intel Corporation, Level 3 Communications, LLC, Microsoft, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

"Today's announcement is an important and encouraging recognition that all companies participating in the Internet ecosystem should come together with a common purpose -- to continue providing consumers with a great Internet experience," said National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow.

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.