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FCC Wrangles Over 'Net Neutrality' Issue

Publication Date: 
April 18, 2008
Associated Press
Paul Elias

The Associated Press reported this about the FCC hearing hosted by the Center for Internet and Society, and quoted Lawrence Lessig:

A divided Federal Communications Commission on Thursday grappled further with the thorny issue of how to relieve increasing online congestion, disagreeing sharply over whether government regulations are needed.

The five-member commission met at Stanford University during a seven-hour meeting delving into ''Net neutrality,'' the principle that all Internet traffic be treated equal.

It was the second such hearing the FCC has held this year, its interest on the subject piqued by formal complaints that Comcast Corp. is blocking certain of its customers who upload videos, music and other large data files from using its network during peak traffic times.

'We are facing these problems because of a failure of FCC policy,'' Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig told the commission. ''The FCC failed to make it clear to the network owners that if they are building the Internet they need to build it neutrally.''