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FCC chief said to propose network neutrality rules

September 19, 2009|Bloomberg News

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will propose rules Monday requiring Internet companies to treat content providers equally, a person familiar with the matter said.

Chairman Julius Genachowski will ask the panel to adopt the net neutrality rules, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the proposal hasn't been made public.

The proposal may ignite a clash between the Obama administration and AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., which along with some Republicans say regulations could choke investment and stem growth in the Internet.

Rules would be generally negative for telephone, cable and wireless providers of high-speed Internet services, and would be generally welcomed by Internet companies such as Amazon.com Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc.

Net neutrality includes the idea that Web providers shouldn't be permitted to favor some websites by delivering their content faster than similar material from other sites.

Genachowski would need to win a majority on the commission, which is made up of him, two fellow Democrats and two Republicans.

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