Martin: Web Models Still Evolving

Washington -- Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin said Wednesday that he did not share the instant anxiety over recent reports that AT&T Inc. (which recently acquired SBC Communications Inc.), BellSouth Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. might develop broadband business models that involved charging fees to providers of voice, video and search services in exchange for priority delivery.

“The issue of whether or not the carriers can actually charge any of the content providers … has come up recently, and the commission hasn’t spoken to it. I think the commission is still trying to evaluate what that is,” Martin told reporters following an appearance at the American Enterprise Institute here.

Martin said he felt the same way about reports that America Online Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. might impose e-mail fees in an effort to generate revenue from efforts to curb spam and junk mail.

“I think that it’s important that the commission see actually what’s really going on,” he added. “I think the marketplace is still evolving, and I think you have to wait and see what actually develops, rather than just responding to press reports.”