Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 1:53am
PARALLEL UNIVERSES OR A HOUSE DIVIDED AMONG ITSELF: THE TURF WAR BEGINS -- COMMERCE COMMITTEE VS JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
[SOURCE: Jeff Pulver Blog]
[Commentary] The House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Telecom and Antitrust held an Oversight Hearing on "Network Neutrality: Competition, Innovation and Nondiscriminatory Access." It was a world away from the Hearings and Markups we have experienced in the House Commerce Committee in the past few weeks. Does Judiciary offer us a glimpse of a better world? I'm inclined to say yes. Others might disagree. It, however, is hard to believe that these two Committees represent the same constituency, the same country. How could two adjoining Committees suggest two such radically different policy results? The Commerce Committee is large predisposed against Net Neutrality. It was hard to find a harsh sentiment towards Net Neutrality in Judiciary. In fact, the Judiciary Hearing was, for the most part, a total dogpile on Walter McCormick, the President of USTA, the trade association for the Bell Companies and other ILECs. As best we could tell, virtually all the members, across the aisle in Judiciary, were generally inclined towards ensuring a competitive marketplace, and using competition to drive innovation. The Judiciary Hearing seemed more like an experiment, a glimpse of what could be if industry lobbyists did not wield so much sway in Congress. What is clear is that there is a brewing turf war between Commerce and Judiciary, and Judiciary made a strong case today for jurisdiction over issues implicating Net Neutrality. I suspect House leadership might have to weigh in at some point soon.
AMAZON.COM PUSHING FOR TWO NET NEUTRALITY SAFEGUARDS
[SOURCE: Technology Daily, AUTHOR: Sarah Lai Stirland]
Congress should enact two specific proposals to prevent communications companies from making exclusive deals that would discriminate against the transmission of certain Internet content, an Amazon.com lobbyist told members of the House Judiciary Committee. "We respectfully ask that Congress enact modest but effective safeguards to reinstate limited protections that the FCC recently abandoned and thereby preserve American consumers' longstanding freedom of choice of Internet content," Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president for global public policy, said in prepared testimony. Misener said network neutrality provisions must be included in any legislation granting cable companies video franchising relief. He said the proponents of so-called network neutrality want content traveling across an operator's high-speed Internet network to be prioritized based on the service purchased by consumers -- and not on which firm is transmitting the information. According to Misener, Amazon also urges that any deals on expediting access to content between owners of Internet pipes and content providers be kept at non-discriminatory rates.
- Today's Quote
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- Amazon Makes the Case for Net Neutrality
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