Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lawmakers Struggle With How Neutral Networks Should Be

William Jackson writes on

Telecom reform is the top priority of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “We want to get a comprehensive telecom reform bill to the president’s desk this year,” Barton said. “There is no more important issue” to U.S. economic health, he added.

Barton, speaking Wednesday at the Congressional Internet Caucus’ State of the Internet Conference, said he hoped to introduce the bill this month. It will have to move quickly to see passage during this session.

“We don’t have that many legislative days this year,” he said. “It’s time to stop talking and start working. If we just wait on the Senate, I don’t see much happening.”

Reform probably is needed. The telecommunications and Internet industries have evolved quickly in the 10 years since the Telecom Reform Act of 1996, and much of that law is based on policy from the 1930s.


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