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Copps, Clyburn To Appear At Free Press-Co-Sponsored 'Net Forum - Broadcasting & Cable

Copps, Clyburn To Appear At Free Press-Co-Sponsored 'Net Forum

Hearing will include chance for public to weigh in on net neutrality debate
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FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn have been lined up to attend and say a few words at a forum on the "Future of the Internet" Aug. 19 in Minneapolis, according to conference co-sponsor Free Press.

Both commissioners' offices confirmed that they would be in attendance.

The hearing is not an FCC event, although, like FCC fieldhearings, it is free and will include a chance for the public to weigh in, according to organizers.

"The debate over the future of the Internet is at a criticalmoment, and now is the time to make your voice heard," said Free PressPresident Josh Silver in announcing that the commissioners had been penned in."Net neutrality and free speech online are at risk, and right now the only people at the table with the FCC in this debate are lobbyists for the phone andcable giants."

The FCC is currently contemplating reclassifying broadband transmission as a Title II common carrier service as a way of clarifyingthe commission's ability to expand and codify its network neutrality guidelines. Free Press, Copps and Clyburn are all supportive of that effort.

Silver's reference about the only people at the table is to FCC-hosted meetings with various stakeholders about a possible legislative alternative to Title II reclassification by FCC declaratory ruling. The Open Internet Coalition, of which Free Press is a member, has been represented at the meetings, but Google and Skype, for example, who are also members of the coalition, have their own, individual, seats at the table, as do AT&T, Verizon and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

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