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U.S. FCC's Wheeler said to mull hybrid approach to net neutrality

John Ribeiro | Nov. 3, 2014
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission appears set to reclassify broadband so that it comes under the agency's authority, but without explicitly prohibiting special access deals between broadband and content companies, according to a news report.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy wrote this month letters to Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications, asking them to take a stand against fast lanes on the Internet. "Allowing the Internet to become a two-tiered system of 'haves' and 'have-nots,' controlled by a small number of corporate gatekeepers, would destroy everything that has made it one of the greatest innovations in human history," the Vermont Democrat wrote.

Verizon said in a public response Wednesday that it "is on record numerous times as saying that it has no plans to undertake the hypothetical 'paid prioritization' business model." The FCC has authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act to ban forms of paid prioritization that it believes could be harmful to competition or consumers, it added. Comcast and AT&T are also reported to have promised in replies to Leahy not to have Internet fast lanes.

 

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