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Net Neutrality – Nixed by Congress?

In a move that is certain to drive the digital elite into a apoplectic fit, an article from the National Journal Telecom Update reports that Network Neutrality provisions have been removed from upcoming Telecom legislation.

Officially, aides to the Energy and Commerce Committee say the situation is in flux. “The dialogue among committee leaders and staff about the best approach continues, and we’re making progress,” spokesman Kevin Schweers wrote in an e-mail. “However, the legislation remains a work in progress, and no final decisions have been made.”

But sources told Technology Daily Friday that the committee is likely to drop net neutrality altogether because lawmakers cannot reach a consensus.

This is fantastic news. The legislation looks like it will be more about removing regulation, rather than increasing it.

Instead of a comprehensive bill, the committee now is expected to adopt Verizon’s idea for a streamlined telecom measure primarily addressing video franchising.

The bill would place new video competitors under FCC authority when they enter markets. New entrants would pay franchise fees and fulfill other obligations but would not negotiate with localities.

Once a new entrant has reached a threshold of 15 percent market penetration, the dominant cable provider would be subject to the same deregulation. The measure could be debated in March by the Energy and Commerce Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee.

Hat Tip to IP Democracy


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