April 28, 2006

The Backchannel Talk At The Workshop [3:51 am]

Trying to catch up on what appears to have been the big topic of the day; heard only on the backchannel during the workshop I’m attending: Net neutrality provision voted down

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, during debate on a telecommunications reform bill, rejected an amendment that would write so-called net neutrality provisions into U.S. law. Backers of a net neutrality law want Congress to prohibit U.S. broadband providers from blocking or slowing their customers’ connections to Web sites or services that compete with services offered by the providers.

The committee rejected the amendment, on a vote of 34-22, largely along party lines, with all but one Republican opposing the net neutrality amendment offered by Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat.

The committee voted 42-12 to approve the telecom reform bill, largely focused on allowing telecom carriers to offer television services over IP (Internet Protocol) in competition with cable TV. The bill, which now goes to the full House for a vote, would create a national franchising system, instead of requiring that new television providers seek local franchises across the U.S.

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