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Kerry On Net Neutrality Debate: Take a Deep Breath

Network neutrality fan John Kerry renewed his call for an Open Internet, but also called on parties on both sides of the

issue to cool the rhetoric.

Responding to the FCC's announcement that it is seeking more comment on its network neutrality rulemaking proposal, comment

that will put off any decision until at least the end of the year, Kerry said that he understood the strong "beliefs and

interests" being expressed, but said that "rather than retreat to our predictable corners, this should be a time when

everyone takes a deep breath and continues to engage in a constructive process."

In calling for comment on applying open access to wireless broadband and allowing specialized services allow for paid

priority outside the public Internet, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski also pointed to a meeting of the minds among

stakeholders on many of the issues in the rulemaking. Kerry echoed that, and even borrowed the FCC's characterization of the

growing agreement as a "narrowing of disagreement."

He said that all "responsible parties" now agree that broadband should fall within the scope of the FCC and that networks

should not pick winners and losers. That, he said, is progress.

He also said he was actively working on a legislative solution to insuring an Open Internet was preserved and promoted, and

added that in the meantime, the FCC has the "authority, ability, and responsibility" to preserve that openness "with or

without a new law."

Kerry's call for calm and constructive dialog is notable given his passion for the issue. Last April, he blogged a call to

arms on the issue, asking Daily Kos readers to contact their senators after the "travesty" of the BitTorrent decision and in

the face of networks who wanted to "throttle traffic" as they wish.