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FCC Chief of Staff Defends Closed Door Meeting with Telecom Lobbyists

in FCC/Net Neutrality by

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2010 –In response to the outcry by the press and consumer protection groups Federal Communications Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus has posted a comment about the closed door meeting held by the FCC with major telecom firms.

In the brief post on the FCC blog Lazarus says that the commission has met with a number of different organizations after the Comcast decision and has done so within all rules and regulation setup by the organization.

“To the extent stakeholders discuss proposals with Commission staff regarding other approaches outside of the open proceedings at the Commission, the agency’s ex parte disclosure requirements are not applicable. To promote transparency and keep the public informed, we will post notices of these meetings here at As always, our door is open to all ideas and all stakeholders.”

The post also has a copy of a letter from Markham Erickson the Executive Director of the Open Internet Coalition that lists the participants and the purpose of the meeting. The letter lists representatives from Verizon, AT&T, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Google, and Skype. They met with Lazarus, Paul de Sa, Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis and Zachary Katz, Deputy Chief of the  Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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