Walden: We'll Hold Hearing on Paid Prioritization

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) says the Energy & Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on paid prioritization.

That came at the State of the Net conference in Washington Monday (Jan. 29).

Walden, who chairs the committee, said there was agreement on no blocking and no throttling of internet content, but that the public and the committee needed more schooling on the impact of paid prioritization "so we can get the policy right."

He said paid prioritization "gets into how the internet works today."

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The FCC on Dec. 14 voted to eliminate the prohibitions on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. ISPs generally have all pledged not to block or throttle but have reserved judgment on prioritizing, which they suggest has pro-consumer and pro-competitive aspects.

Walden agrees, saying that vital info needs to be prioritized over the latest cat video, for example. He said that through CDNs (content delivery networks), the internet is prioritized today.

He said there were things like prioritizing 911 voice over cat videos makes sense. I don't think they are fully understood by the public or my colleagues, or myself."

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.