Chairman Wheeler To Testify In Congress On May 20
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[April 29, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Federal
Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, under fire from consumer
advocates for proposing Internet traffic rules they say will create
"fast lanes" for some Web content, will testify at a House of
Representatives hearing on May 20.
Wheeler will appear as sole witness at the hearing called by the
House of Representatives' subcommittee on communications and
technology, the panel said on Monday.
Lawmakers will quiz him on his recent proposals related to the
so-called incentive auction of valuable airwaves scheduled for
mid-2015 and "net neutrality" rules as well as the FCC's recent
moves to limit TV stations' joint ad sales and other matters, said
U.S. Representative Greg Walden, who chairs the subcommittee.
"This will be our first opportunity to directly discuss issues
important to our technology economy ... We look forward to what will
surely be a thorough and spirited discussion with Chairman Wheeler,"
Walden, an Oregon Republican, said in a statement.
Wheeler is facing criticism for new "Open Internet" rules he wants
the FCC to propose at a May 15 public meeting. The rules could allow
content companies to pay broadband providers for faster Internet
speeds delivering their traffic as long as such deals are deemed
Consumer interest groups worry the rules may create "fast lanes" for
some Internet content and undermine the concept of "net neutrality"
which calls for all Web traffic to be treated equally. Many
Republicans and broadband companies have broadly seen FCC's Open
Internet rules as unnecessary regulation that encroaches on how
networks are managed by owners.
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The agency is also working on rules for the major auction of
valuable wireless airwaves scheduled for mid-2015. Wheeler has
proposed rules that would restrict bidding by the largest carriers
in the United States, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.
(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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