Says Paid Prioritization Needs More Discussion
PITTSBURGH, March 21, 2018 – Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said that when it comes to the Internet, there is one thing everyone agrees on: “No block, no throttle.” The lawmaker made her comments today at ACA’s 25th Summit in Washington, D.C.
“It is important to put this Net Neutrality issue in the dustbin of history,” she told nearly 400 ACA Summit attendees. “In 2015 was the Internet broken? Did it need the federal government to come and fix it?” she asked. “The phrase ‘Net Neutrality’ has come to mean whatever is the hot spot of the moment.”
Rep. Blackburn said she expects the House to move on her Open Internet Preservation Act (H.R. 4686), which she said codifies the “no block, no throttle philosophy.” Blackburn’s bill would codify light-touch regulation of ISPs by banning blocking and throttling, though it would not do the same to paid prioritization.
She added that after passage of her bill, “We’ll have a discussion on paid prioritization and its effects.” Possible topics include examining the impact of paid prioritization in health care informatics, content development (including music, television, and movies), and content distribution.
“The issue deserves a more thorough discussion,” she said.
Rep. Blackburn is committed to closing the digital divide through bipartisan action.
She is a leading advocate for an Open Internet and she demonstrated that by introducing a bill three months ago that would guarantee it by including key consumer protections endorsed by ACA members. Importantly, Rep. Blackburn’s open Internet bill would preserve market incentives to deploy broadband infrastructure deeper into unserved and underserved areas.
In the Senate, Sen John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced his own version of the Open Internet Preservation Act, which closely tracks with the Blackburn bill.
The ACA Summit is a truly special event that allows small and midsize cable, phone and broadband companies that connect hometown America to engage with leading lawmakers and regulators as well as media representatives that report on communications policy in Washington, D.C. Created in the early 1990s, the ACA Summit gives independent operators a vehicle for framing the diverse and complex issues in their own words during dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill and with regulators at the Federal Communications Commission.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable, phone and broadband companies who provide broadband services for nearly 8 million subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/