Thursday, August 31, 2017

Lawmakers Cancel Hearing on Net Neutrality

A U.S. House committee said on Wednesday it has canceled a planned hearing on Sept. 7 on the future of internet access rules after no companies publicly committed to appearing.

Among those who had been invited in late July to share thoughts before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee were the chief executives of Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc.

According to Reuters, the hearing had the potential to be one of the most high-profile appearances of major tech CEOs on Capitol Hill.

Republican lawmakers had hoped to bring top executives from tech companies and internet providers to testify publicly in a bid to garner support for a deal to set permanent rules on the future of internet access after a more than decade-long fight. No company had publicly committed to testify and many firms were privately reluctant to testify.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission under President Donald Trump has been moving to scrap rules implemented under the Obama administration that regulated broadband internet like a utility.

The rules bar providers from blocking or slowing websites, or allowing websites to pay for “fast lanes” over competitors.

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