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MarkeyPitches Core Net Neutrality Principles

With only two working days before the FCC's net neutrality vote, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), joined by for other Democratic House members, have provided them with a wish list of what they say should be in that Internet regulation order.

That came in the form of a letter to the commissioners Friday.

Their wish list comprises four items they say are core principles that need to be part of the order: 1) Nondiscrimination, by which they mean a ban on paid prioritization; 2) application to both wired and wireless broadband; 3) "narrow" exceptions for managed services; 4) a broad definition of Internet access services.

The draft order as initially circulated did not ban paid prioritization, allows for specialized services, and only applies  non-blocking (rather than non-discrimination) and transparency principles to wireless, citing the different technological challenges.

At press time a source close to one of the commissioners said their office had not seen any edits to the draft, though Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps has suggested that there needs to be some changes to the language. He is also concerned about the limitations on application to wireless and the opportunity for paid prioritization.

Phone and cable nets are on board with the compromise draft as issued, but adding any more conditions on wireless broadband could result in a lawsuit, CTIA: the Wireless Association President Steve Largent told B&C Multi this week.
Signing on to the Markey letter were Reps. Anna Eshoo (Calif.), Mike Doyle (Pa.), John Lewis (Ga.) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.).

That Democratic effort came as some Senate Republicans tried to block any FCC network neutrality rules with an amendment to the omnibus appropriations bill that would block funding for the rules.

John Eggerton
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.