WGAE Urges Members To Push President For 'Real' Network Neutrality

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The Writers Guild of America East is urging members to e-mail the Obama administration to ask them to support "real" network neutrality.
Tuesday marked the beginning of the sunshine period before the FCC's planned Dec. 21 vote on network neutrality rules, which means the end of the comment period on the item. WGAE urged members last week to e-mail the commission and says hundreds did.

So, WGAE President Michael Winship Wednesday asked members to turn their attention to the White House and send the president an e-mail, asking him to support network neutrality, which was one of his campaign planks.

By network neutrality, WGAE means not permitting paid prioritization and applying the regulations to wireless, as well as wired broadband. The draft order of compromise proposal circulated by the chairman does not explicitly ban so called specialized services that could get pay-for priority, according to sources who have seen the original draft, or apply most of them to wireless broadband.

"If these principles are compromised the result will irrevocably harm the future of the internet and the public interest," according to a sample e-mail that member can sign on to.

At press time, commissioners were still vetting the draft, which could be recirculated if there are at least three commissioners in support of any particular edit. Commissioner Michael Copps, who has concerns about paid prioritization, wireless broadband and whether the FCC can justify a Title I defense of the new rules in court, has indicated that some of the language in the initial draft would need changing.

Some industry players, who reluctantly agreed to the compromise deal, have warned they could take it to court if the language changes too much, that would include the wireless industry lobby if more regs are applied to their mobile broadband service beyond the transparency and no-web site-blocking provisions in the draft.