Legislation for a statutory framework for IP and Broadband Services

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Tom Keating
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Legislation for a statutory framework for IP and Broadband Services

Yesterday, I listened to a congressional hearing discussing a draft of legislation to create a statutory framework for Internet Protocol and Broadband Services. I actually streamed the audio/video, but only recorded the audio from the hearing. It featured several witnesses, including Mr. James D. Ellis, Senior Executive Vice President for SBC, Mr. Paul Mitchell, Senior Director and General Manager for Microsoft TV Division, Mr. Edward A. Salas Staff Vice President Network Planning for Verizon, Mr. Wayne M. Rehberger, Chief Operating Officer for XO Communications, Mr. Christopher Putala, Executive Vice President and more.

At stake is the future of broadband access, port blocking issues, competition in the broadband space (including equal access), and other issues that affect not just data but voice, video, and other future IP communications. The hearing even mentioned the infamous Brand X decision passed down by the Supreme Court, which ruled cable firms don't have to share their networks and will no doubt hurt broadband competition in my opinion.

Much of the discussion centered around 'net neutrality' and the best way to achieve this goal. There were some mild fireworks in the hearing with several speakers stating their utter displeasure with the draft legislation. Several were upset that they felt that net neutrality was not being protected and that there were not enough provisions to ensure open broadband competition to help drive U.S. broadband adoption, which lags behind several other countries.

I actually only listened to about the first 30-40 minutes of it before I had an important conference call. As I mentioned, yesterday was an extremely busy day for me. I wanted to go back and replay the recording I made of the hearing, but I just don't have time today to listen and decipher it. So instead, I am including the MP3 recording here if you are interested in listening to it.

I only recorded the first ~2 hours, since I needed to use my sound card for testing a VoIP application. Thus, I didn't get to record the whole thing, including the witness testimony from several ISPs, carriers, and software companies such as Microsoft. Nevertheless, it might be worth listening to the first 2 hours since that is the part that includes the congressional committee members speaking.

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