Hill aides discuss net neutrality

Hill telecom aides discussed net neutrality on Tuesday at a forum held by the the Free State Foundation.

A few highlights from a report by Communications Daily:

-Congress probably won't agree on a net neutrality deal this year, said David Quinalty, a Republican staffer on the Senate Commerce Committee. The process is slow, Tim Powderly, a senior counsel to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said. “The Telecom Act of '96 took two or three Congresses.”

-Can Congress address net neutrality as well as other major telecom priorities, such as USF reform, at the same time?  Powderly said yes; Neil Fried, a GOP senior counsel on the House committee, said no. “As much as we try to walk and chew gum at the same time, we know from the past year we just don't,” Fried said. Waxman didn't give House Republicans enough time to review and form consensus on his net neutrality draft, Fried said.

-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee, has not taken a position on legislation aimed at building a broadband network for first responders, according to Daniel Sepulvelda, a senior advisor to Kerry. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (Calif.) and Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) have conflicting proposals on this. The House position remains the same, two aides said.

Communications Daily
website is here. FSF said it will post a video of the panel discussion shortly.