Cable Show '08: Gutierrez Backs Network Management

Secretary of Commerce Supports Federal Communications Commission's Nondiscrimination Principles

Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez had a message of solidarity for cable operators Monday on the issue of "network management."

Gutierrez, according to a speech he delivered at The Cable Show '08 in New Orleans, said the Bush administration supports the Federal Communications Commission's nondiscrimination principles and believes the FCC already has the power to address "potential abuses" in the Internet marketplace.

He also made a point of saying that managing Internet traffic had become a "nightmare," and that "network providers need flexibility to manage congestion quickly and effectively."

Competition, not regulation, is the most effective "discipline" for broadband providers, he added.

Echoing FCC chairman Kevin Martin, Gutierrez also said network providers should disclose whatever management techniques they use. "We believe transparency promotes competition," he said.

"Broad regulations that limit the ability of operators to price or manage their networks could actually deter and delay investment and innovation," he added.

Gutierrez also took the opportunity to repeat his disappointment with the Senate's passage of a resolution that would invalidate the FCC's loosening of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban. He said the move would hinder localism and diversity, reiterating his advice to the president to veto it.