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Well duh, Markey to Head House Telecom Subcommittee

December 3, 2006

In a move that will surprise absolutely zero telecom policy wonks, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has officially been named to chair the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Telecommunications and the Internet Sucommittee.

Solidly pro net neutrality Markey's ascendancy is being welcomed with open arms by net neutrality advocates, but not so much by big telco.

"It's obviously very good for those of us who favor an open and neutral Internet," Public Knowledge spokesperson Art Brodsky tells the National Journal's David Hatch (who I used to work with a long time ago and knows his stuff).

David gets about a 170-degree different reax from an unnamed "industry observer:"

"For the Bell companies, there's no question it's bad news," the source told Hatch about Markey's ascendancy to the Committee's helm. Hatch mentions that earlier this year, Markey voted against a deregulatory telecom bill after the House Energy and Commerce panel had rejected his amendments -- which the Bell companies opposed.

But in a statement which can only be described as indicative of a brief honeymoon, U.S. Telecom Association President Walter McCormick called Markey a "longstanding leader" on high-tech issues.

The USTA represents the four leading Bell communications companies (AT&T, BellSouth, Verizon and Quest) as well as several other leading regional providers.

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