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Sen. Markey Gets Some Mass. Tech Support for Internet Fight

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Massachusetts tech leaders, including Microsoft, were pledging to join his fight to protect network neutrality.

Markey's definition of that is to prevent FCC chairman Ajit Pai from reversing his predecessor's reclassification of ISPs as Title II common carriers under the Open Internet order. 

Pai says he is all for protecting network neutrality, just not using Title II regs created for phone nets and subjecting ISPs to potential ex ante regulation, at least under a future chairman.

Markey's office said Friday he had met with the following, who had joined his defense of net neutrality:

Mark Kidd, senior VP of Iron Mountain; Jody Rose, executive director of New England Venture Capital Association; Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot; Mohamad Ali, CEO of Carbonite; Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor; Enrique Colbert, general counsel of Wayfair; Cathy Wissink, director of technology and civic engagement, Microsoft New England.

Markey held a press conference and photo op at Carbonite in Boston Friday joined by the above execs, according to his office. 

“I urge FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to halt the steps he is taking to eliminate net neutrality,” said Ali in a statement circulated by Markey's office. “Pai’s proposed ‘deregulation’ simply means allowing the large internet carriers to boost their profits at the expense of innovation of thousands of other companies and the reduction of jobs across America." 

ISPs argue that the Open Internet order has depressed and discouraged investment.

Channeling a bit of Paul Revere, Markey proclaimed: “The movement to defend net neutrality has started in Massachusetts, and it will be an historic fight. I’m proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our digital economy leaders in defending the world’s greatest platform for commerce and communications.”

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.