Policy

Chambers: No Net-Neutrality Regs

3/13/2006 10:31 AM Eastern

Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers is urging Capitol Hill lawmakers to refrain from regulating cable operators with net-neutrality rules while no evidence exists showing that cable has discriminated against Web-based voice, video, data and software-application providers.

“Broadband Internet-access service providers should remain free to engage in pro-competitive network-management techniques to alleviate congestion, ameliorate capacity constraints and enable new services,” Chambers said in a March 9 letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) and the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. John Dingell of Michigan.

Chambers made it clear that while Internet-access providers had an obligation not to “block, degrade or impair” Web services, “innovation inside the network is just as important as innovation in services and devices connected to the Internet.”

Last week, Barton and Dingell agreed in principle to legislation that would award a national cable franchise to phone companies and impose net-neutrality obligations on phone and cable companies.

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