House GOP asks companies for input on net neutrality legislation

House GOP asks companies for input on net neutrality legislation
© Greg Nash

Republican lawmakers are pressing a group of tech and telecom companies to provide input on a possible net neutrality bill after the firms missed a deadline to agree to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the issue.

In a follow up, Robin Colwell, the chief counsel for the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on technology, sent an email to eight companies that had been invited to testify in a Sept. 7 hearing.

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In the email obtained by The Hill, Colwell asked the companies to weigh in on what they’d like to see from legislation, which is being pushed by Republicans as a replacement to the Obama-era rules, currently being repealed by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.

“As you are aware, [Commerce] Chairman [Greg] Walden [R-Ore.] continues to be interested in moving forward on a bipartisan legislative solution to the longstanding issue of net neutrality,” Colwell wrote.

“Since we all basically agree on the fundamental principles and the need to provide certainty for all participants in the internet economy, he believes we are close to reaching an agreement. Toward that end, he has asked us to manage and execute a process that will allow him to quickly determine the current likelihood of forming a broad coalition of support for any particular set of deal terms.”

Colwell asked that the companies come to an Aug. 7 meeting so that Walden could give feedback on any proposals made.

The new request comes after the committee extended a Monday deadline for the eight companies to agree to testify before the committee on net neutrality.

“The committee has been engaging in productive conversations with all parties and will extend the deadline for response in order to allow for those discussions to continue,” said Zach Hunter, a spokesman for Walden, on Monday.

The eight companies invited to the hearing are Google parent company Alphabet, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Comcast, Verizon, Charter and AT&T.

This story was updated at 5:09 p.m.