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FCC Push on Net Neutrality Ramps Up Lobbying

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said Wednesday that he is considering a net neutrality plan that would prevent Internet providers from restricting content, but would give them flexibility to manage their networks.

Mehlman is also co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, a group that includes AT&T, Verizon and other communications firms. The alliance issued a statement in which Mehlman called the FCC chairman’s plan “the most effective option for reducing regulatory uncertainty in the broadband marketplace.”

Other groups and companies that reported meetings with the FCC since the beginning of November include the Media Access Project, Public Knowledge, Amazon.com, Open Internet Coalition, CTIA - The Wireless Association, T-Mobile USA, Skype Communications, and XO Communications.

Interested parties have also submitted comments to the FCC. An Allbritton official wrote in comments submitted Oct. 29 that the company endorsed a “reasonable middle ground” on the net neutrality issue “that provides flexibility for carriers to offer multiple competitive services and manage their network efficiently while, at the same time, protects users from discriminatory treatment that exacerbates a ‘a have/have not’ interest.”

The comments by Jerald Fritz, senior vice president of legal and strategic affairs, went on to say that “TBD.com’s ability to innovate the market for hyper-local news and Politico.com’s significant success from its inception less than four years ago would have been wholly impossible without an open Internet.”

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