Wednesday, June 23, 2010

FCC in closed door session with telecoms lobbyists


Some minor controversy here...Broadband Breakfast and Fierce Telecom report that the FCC's chief of staff Edward Lazarus has met privately with telecoms lobbyists in relation to its reclassification proposals. Public interest groups have complained about such a meeting being held behind closed doors. In the FCC's defence Lazarus posted the following on the FCC's blog:
"Since the D.C. Circuit’s decision in the Comcast Internet-discrimination case more than two months ago, there has been a vibrant debate among stakeholders from all parts of the broadband community on the best path forward. Some stakeholders have shared their ideas with staff at the Commission, including ideas for legislative options. Senior Commission staff are making themselves available to meet with all interested parties on these issues. To the extent stakeholders discuss proposals with Commission staff regarding other approaches outside of the open proceedings at the Commission, the agency’s ex partedisclosure requirements are not applicable. But to promote transparency and keep the public informed, we will post notices of these meetings here at blog.broadband.gov. As always, our door is open to all ideas and all stakeholders."
The posting also includes a copy of the meeting notice, which lists the attendees as Verizon, AT&T, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Google and Skype, who met to discuss "details relating to prospective legislation relating to open Internet principles". Given Lazarus' statement above, a storm in a teacup methinks?

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