Thursday, January 22, 2009

House approves broadband stimulus, with some "neutrality" rules

The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Jan. 22 approved rules to applied to telecommunications carriers getting federal funds (up to $6 billion) to extend broadband to rural areas. This would be part of Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package.

The rules require a sort of network neutrality, including connectivity to all devices, regardless of provider. The CTIA, the International Association for Wireless Telecommunications, said that the rules were vague and made the silly prediction that many companies would not apply. Really?

The Wall Street Journal story, by Fawn Johnson, “High-Speed Internet Grants Gain Support in House,” is here.

I could not find the CTIA position, but it does support the naming of the new FCC Chairman, Steve Largent, is a press release here. It also links to a report that another provider, Vodafone, is using bandwidth speed cuts to control excess traffic, in a story today on Smartbrief, here.

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