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Net Neutrality 'May Well' Kill Bill, Says Stevens

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said Tuesday that the issue of net neutrality may well kill his communications bill.

He said the controversy "may well lead to its total defeat after 19 months" of work, he said during a renomination hearing for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

An amendment with strong language on network neutrality was barely defeated in the commerce committee, and Stevens has been told by Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) that the bill cannot come to the floor without 60 votes for passage, which he is still trying to line up.

Stevens asked Martin whether the FCC had identified any cable or telephone networks that had blocked access to content. Martin said there was one instance, that the commission moved swiftly to address. He also said he thought the FCC had the authority to step in whenever it identified such violations.

He said the FCC has monitored the marketplace vigilantly.