Sources inside and outside the Federal Communications Commission confirm that there was a meeting Monday between top FCC staffers and at least three of the industry stakeholders involved in long-standing discussions over network neutrality regs.
The meeting was with NCTA president Kyle McSlarrow; AT&,T senior executive vice president of external and legal affairs James Cicconi, and Tom Tauke, executive vice president, public affairs, policy and communications at Verizon according to the sources, who said there were separate meetings with public-interest group representatives and tech types.
Together, those groups were part of joint, FCC-brokered discussions earlier in the year to try to come up with a compromise on securing Internet openness. Those talks eventually broke off after participants Verizon and Google struck a side agreement on net neutrality guidelines that divided to coalition of the Internet willing over the issues of applying them to wireless broadband and so-called managed services.
Separately, according to an ex parte filing, Cicconi talked with Edward Lazarus, the FCC's chief of staff on Nov. 19 and Nov. 21 about the network neutrality proceeding.
Sources indicate FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is trying to come up with an item as early as the December meeting that would use existing commission authority to expand and codify the commissions' network openness principles, per last October's proposed rulemaking, and similar to a legislative compromise under House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) that had industry support, but failed to get the Republican backing the Rep. had said was necessary to proceed.
In his separate meeting with Lazarus, Cicconi talked up the merits of the Waxman bill and said it should be a "Model" for any "substantive resolution" of the issue.