Net Neutrality Links
I’ve added these links to the Net Neutrality Page today.
Rocco Commisso, CEO of New York-based Mediacom Communications, delivered the latest commentary in the ongoing Net neutrality fray at an annual Washington, D.C., summit organized by the American Cable Association, a lobbying group for small and medium-size independent cable companies. Mediacom, which bills itself as the nation’s eighth-largest cable television provider, counts 1.5 million basic-cable subscribers across 23 states, according to its Web site.
“I think what the phone industry’s saying and what we’re saying is we’ve made an investment, and I don’t think the government should be coming and telling us how we can work that infrastructure, simple as that,” [Rocco] Commisso said during a panel discussion about issues faced by companies like his, adding, “Why don’t they go and tell the oil companies what they should charge for their damn gas?”
Another interpretation to the plain language requiring a public purpose for right-of-way concessions does not exist. Does anyone believe government should grant public assets to private entities for private purposes? The loss of net neutrality changes the terms under which the Bells enjoy access to right-of-way. The non-neutral private network deployments associated with the Bell company broadband offers look like the non-common carrier networks of the cable companies.
As many as 600,000 letters from constituents related to the Net neutrality issue have streamed into the offices of congressional members since the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s recent approval of its own telecommunications bill, said Johanna Shelton, the committee’s Democratic counsel.
Rep. John Dingell, the committee’s senior Democrat, is still evaluating the best legislative approach but is “deeply concerned” about the potential for extra fees being imposed on Internet content and application providers and the subsequent effect on consumers, Shelton said.
“It would be unthinkable for the government to insert fees into the way the Internet is now, but yet there are a number of people who would be fine with private entities doing so and being able to selectively pick and choose and treat others differently for any reason they see fit,” she said.
Howard Waltzman, the committee’s chief counsel, viewed the House’s approach in a different light. He said the committee struck an appropriate balance with its bill by including language prohibiting the FCC from making new rules on Net neutrality but granting it the power to vet complaints of discrimination and impose penalties.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE