House Approves Resolution Backing Multistakeholder Internet Governance
Meant to send signal to ITU members seeking more top-down government involvement
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/2/2012 5:43:09 PM
The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed resolution unanimously in June, one of the few things Republicans and Democrats can agree on these days. The White House and the FCC are also solidly for a continued multistakeholder model.
The resolution does not have the force of law, but instead indicates Congress' support of that model.
Both Republicans and Democrats are concerned that at an upcoming treaty conference in Dubai in December -- the World Conference on International Telecommunications -- some of the 193 members, led by Russia and China, will attempt to extend ITU's oversight of international phone traffic to Internet traffic.
So are cable and phone companies, who praised passage Thursday.
"We applaud U.S. House approval of H. Con. Res. 127, an important resolution that sends a strong and clear message that the United Nations and International Telecommunications Union should cease its efforts to assert and impose unprecedented governmental regulation over the Internet," the National Cable and Telecommunications Association said in a statement. "Passage of the resolution reaffirms the government's commitment to continuing the current multistakeholder governance model which has led to private investment in the Internet and yielded innovative new ways of increasing consumer welfare around the globe. "
"We applaud the House for acting on this important resolution that will help our nation in efforts to work against harmful changes to the International Telecommunication Regulation," said USTelecom president Walter McCormick Jr. "We believe it would be a mistake of historic proportions if government or multi-governmental institutions were permitted to weaken or dismantle the effective multistakeholder process in place today. We look forward to working with Congress, the White House and others to ensure that regulations and restrictions are not placed on the Internet when countries convene in December for the World Conference on International Telecommunications."
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