Senate Committee Backs Multistakeholder Net Governance Model
Follows full House passage last month of similar resolution; Senate expected to follow suit
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/19/2012 6:22:10 PMpassed a resolution in support of a multistakeholder modal of Internet governance. The full Senate it expected to follow suit.
The Republican-controlled House last month approved a similar resolution, 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 the Senate's 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, as are cable and phone companies, who back the resolutions.
"I applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for strongly reaffirming America's support for Internet freedom and the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance by passing this resolution," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. "The proposals by some countries to restrict the free flow of information online would threaten one of the most powerful engines for global economic growth and the spread of democracy in human history. I fully support today's vote, which makes clear that the World Conference on International Telecommunications must embrace the success of the last two decades of liberalization in telecom regulation as well as the existing multi-stakeholder model in order to ensure continued investment and growth of the Internet around the globe."
"We applaud the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's passage of this important resolution to keep the global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multi-stakeholder model that governs the Internet today," said National Cable and Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell. "This resolution sends a strong message that the flow of information free from government control is vital to democracy, commerce, education and much more across the globe."
"We are pleased to see action on this important resolution, and applaud Chairman John Kerry and Ranking Member Richard Lugar for scheduling today's markup," said US Telecom president Walter McCormick.
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