Rep. Eshoo Hosts Net Neutrality Roundtable

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) will get together with opponents of the proposal to reverse the Title II classification of internet access.

According to an email notification on the June 19 event, it will be held at the headquarters of Mozilla (Firefox), which is participating in a July 12 protest and has been encouraging web surfers to oppose FCC chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to reclassify ISPs as information services and rethink the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

The event is billed as one with stakeholders, but it also says that it is a "roundtable to discuss the impacts of net neutrality and the consequence of eviscerating the policy." Presupposing that rolling back Title II is the equivalent of eviscerating Title II indicates the stakeholders are ones with a stake on one side of the issue. 

Eshoo's office characterizes the Title II rollback as "removing protections that advance competition, innovation, small businesses and entrepreneurs, benefitting only the interests of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs)."

That is borne out by the list of participants, which includes Gigi Sohn, former counselor to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a big booster of his Title II-based 2015 Open Internet order, and Chris Riley of Mozilla. 

Eshoo—who represents Silicon Valley, where computer companies are generally Title II fans—has been one of the strongest voices for maintaining that common carrier definition of ISPs.

(Photo via Brian Washburn's FlickrImage taken on June 15, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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.