Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) made a pitch for applying
network neutrality regulations equally to wireless and wired broadband,
and for a ban on paid prioritization. Neither is said to be in the current
draft order on network neutrality rules being circulated by FCC Chairman
Julius Genachowski for a Dec. 21 vote, although two of the regs, on
transparency and a ban on blocking access to Web sites, would be applied to
Markey praised the draft as an important
step, but said "an explicit ban on paid prioritization is needed to retain the
ability of all Internet users to communicate and compete on a level playing
field, preventing the emergence of fast and slow lanes that have been contrary
to the nature of the Internet since its creation."
He also said a common framework for wireless
and wireline should be "a core component." He says he
still supports reclassification of broadband under Title II, rather than
defending new regs under Title I, as the chairman is now proposing
to do, but said he looked forward to being filled in on just how the FCC
would make that defense.
Genachowski early on said he was concerned
that a Title I defense might not pass legal muster, but senior officials said
Wednesday that with time for reflection and voluminous public comment, they were
confident they could sustain the regs in court.
Markey has been a long-time supporter of network neutrality, including
drafting bills on the subject.
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.
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