A scheduled September 7 hearing on the future of net neutrality was canceled today, after representatives from leading communications, over-the-top providers and other technology companies declined to publicly appear on Capitol Hill.
The hearing was postponed due to talks over future rules, Zach Hunter, a spokesman for committee chairman Greg Walden, U.S. Representative (R) from Oregon, told Reuters. While executives may be camera shy, they have discussed the topic privately, he said.
"As negotiations progress on a permanent solution for net neutrality that ensures a free and open Internet, the committee will postpone the original hearing in order to allow talks between stakeholders to continue," said Hunter.
Under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, the agency wants to lift rules placed during the prior administration that treat Internet as a utility and bans providers from blocking or slowing websites or showing preferential treatment to some online businesses. Advocates of Pai's approach argue it treats some ultra-broadband providers -- such as cable operators -- differently from others and that industry can self-monitor, in part due to competitive pressures that will penalize those that do not adhere to net neutrality rules.
Opponents disagree, stating government must oversee private industry and point to examples of past behavior by Verizon and AT&T and other reported cases. They argue big companies, like Amazon and Netflix, will only get bigger at the expense of smaller businesses that cannot buy faster online access.
Under the White House plan, President Trump will dole out 80% of the allotted $50 billion for rural infrastructure – or $40 billion – directly to state leaders, letting governors pick from areas such as broadband, power generation, water facilities or transportation.
It will cost less than $20 billion to connect unserved US anchor institutions with fiber, a step that will deliver fiber-based broadband to 95% of the population, a cost analysis conducted for the SHLB Coalition said.
In a February 21 radio show, Jeremy Harris, director of subscriber solutions and experience at ADTRAN, will discuss how service providers can use SD-Access, virtualization, automation and other technologies to improve customer experience – thereby decreasing churn and boosting sales.