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Public Knowledge: Spurring Online Video Could Speed Deregulation

Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn plans to tell Congress
that the communications industry can be deregulated if policymakers take steps
to spur online video competition.

In prepared testimony for the Future of Video Hearing in the
House Communication Subcommittee, Sohn says that technology is finally able to
eliminate the "physical bottleneck control" of video distribution,
and that if online video is fostered, "they can begin to disengage from
regulations that were designed to counter the effects of this bottleneck

But among those steps, she suggests, would be for the FCC to
conclude that billing practices can fall under the nondiscrimination
prohibitions of its network neutrality rules.

Sohn says those rules have loopholes that need closing,
including arguing the FCC "need[s] to take into account the fact that that
discrimination can happen through billing, as well as through Internet 'fast
lanes' and other forms of technological discrimination."

The FCC, as part of the rules, allowed for usage-based
pricing as a legitimate business plan, one that National Cable &
Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell said this week was
necessary to fairly allocate the costs of broadband service.