FCC's net neutrality compromise meetings grind on

The FCC scheduled more meetings among stakeholders to try and forge a compromise on net neutrality, according to The Hill.

According to the newspaper's unnamed sources, representatives from the NCTA, AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), Google, Skype and the Open Internet Coalition will meet with top commission officials Wednesday and Thursday as they continue to thrash out a compromise. The meetings come as more Democrats in Congress urge the FCC not to reclassify broadband as a way advance net neutrality regulations for wireless and wired networks.

The meetings have been going on since late June, and, according to a recent report form analyst firm Stifel Nicolaus, the parties hope to reach a consensus early this month. Public interest groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge, which have been pushing for net neutrality regulations, have decried the meetings.

The meetings began shortly after the FCC began accepting public comments on whether it should reclassify broadband, which is seen as a key prerequisite for moving forward on net neutrality. Additionally, the discussions started shortly after AT&T, Verizon and Comcast joined forces with Google, Microsoft, Intel and other tech and telecom companies to form an independent technical coalition that plans to develop guidelines for handling network data traffic.  

Meanwhile, the number of Democrats on Capitol Hill who oppose the FCC's actions continues to grow. Last week, Reps. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), both net neutrality supporters, sent letters to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him not to move ahead with reclassifying broadband as a Title II common-carrier service. At least 78 Democrats in the House and three in the Senate have expressed their opposition to reclassification, and urge the agency to wait for Congressional action on the topic.  

For more:
- see this The Hill article
- see this NextGov article

Related Articles:
FCC seeking net neutrality compromise
FCC begins broadband reclassification process
AT&T, Verizon join Google in net neutrality group
FCC to discuss net neutrality at June 17 meeting
FCC's Genachowski charts way forward on net neutrality
What's next for net neutrality?

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