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Net Neutrality

Broadband Roundup: Tech Companies Support Muni Broadband, Open Internet A Civil Rights Issue, Former AT&T Partners Caution Against DirecTV Bid




WASHINGTON, September 22, 2014 – The Internet Association asked the Federal Communications Commission to carefully consider blocking state laws that inhibit municipalities from enlarging their government run Internet networks, The Hill reported.

The association, while abstaining from directly asking the federal government to strike down laws in Tennessee and North Carolina, did say that the FCC “should use the full weight of its authority to prevent any private or public entity from inhibiting the deployment of broadband networks or standing in the way of increased competition in providing those services.”

Companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and eBay are members of the Internet Association. The FCC is mulling the possibility of striking down state laws that restrict broadband competition. At the same time, The Hill reported, Republicans have signaled that agency action could lead to a quick Congressional challenge.

National Minority Organizations: Open Internet Is Civil Rights Issue

The National Minority Organizations argued that a combination of Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act and a consumer-focused enforcement scheme modeled in the light of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act are needed to protect the open internet. The coalition represents more than 50 of the country’s most prominent national civil rights organizations.

The coalition denounced public utility reclassification under Title II of the Communications Act. In a filing with the FCC, they said sweeping regulation “would inject unnecessary uncertainty into the broadband ecosystem, endangering progress toward important goals for communities of color.”

The National Minority Organizations argued that Section 706 was the best route for “strong, legally enforceable, and consumer-friendly” implementation of open internet rules that align with anti-blocking and anti-paid prioritization views.

Former AT&T Partners to FCC: Block DirecTV Bid

Reuters reported the Minority Cellular Partners Coalition pressed the FCC to block the wireless giant’s $48.5 billion bid for the satellite TV provider DirecTV. The coalition, which is comprised of over ninety former partners of AT&T, claimed that wireless provider knowingly harmed its business partners and engaged in anticompetitive behavior.




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