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Martin Says FCC Shouldn't Regulate Online Video

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin says he does not think the FCC should be regulating Google Video, YouTube or other online video services.

When asked during his renomination hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday about his philosophy of Internet regulation, he said that he did not think the Internet should be taxed, or that it should be subject to payments into the Universal Service Fund for rural telecommunications, which he said would discourage broadband rollouts by raising the price.

As to online video, he said that it is "not necessary to regulate [Internet video service] at this time."

On the broader Internet regulation issue of network neutrality, Martin said he did not oppose Google charging more to companies for higher-profile placement on their search engine, and likewise did not opposed a telephone company like Verizon charging more for higher-bandwidth services like streaming video, suggesting that if they could not, the might not be ablie to afford to provide those services.

Martin said he didn't think the FCC had the authority to regulate online content, as it does with broadcast, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't like to. He told Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) that he thought "all policymakers should try to make the Internet a more decent place," but said that was a challenge, pointing out that it had been challenging enough in the broadcast space, where the FCC does have authority to regulate decency.