Markey: Paid Prioritization Ban, Wireless Regs Should Be In Final Net Neutrality Order

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Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) made a pitch for applying network neutrality regulations equally to wireless and wired broadband, and for a ban on paid prioritization.

Neither is said to be in the current draft order on network neutrality rules being circulated by Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski for a Dec. 21 vote, although two of the regs -- pertaining to transparency and a ban on blocking access to Web sites -- would be applied to wireless.

Markey praised the draft as an important step, but said "an explicit ban on paid prioritization is needed to retain the ability of all Internet users to communicate and compete on a level playing field, preventing the emergence of fast and slow lanes that have been contrary to the nature of the Internet since its creation."

The Congressman also said a common framework for wireless and wireline should be "a core component." He noted that he still supports reclassification of broadband under Title II, rather than defending new regs under Title I, as the chairman is now proposing to do, but said he looked forward to being filled in on just how the FCC would make that defense.

Genachowski early on said he was concerned that a Title I defense might not pass legal muster, but senior officials said Wednesday that with time for reflection and voluminous public comment, they were confident they could sustain the regs in court.

Markey has been a long-time supporter of network neutrality, including drafting bills on the subject.

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