Dorgan, Snowe Call for Hearing on Content Discrimination


The term "network neutrality" never came up in their letter, but Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) called on Senate Commerce Committee chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) to hold a hearing on possible "service discrimination" by cable and telco providers.

That came after a number of recent criticisms of Comcast,Verizon Communications and AT&T of how they are managing their networks.

The pair said in a letter to Inouye Friday that the committee needs to determine whether the various actions -- blocking access to text messages and anti-Bush lyrics, for example -- "were based on legitimage business and network-management policies or part of practices that would be deemed unfair and anticompetitive."

Content discrimination was one of the chief concerns of proponents of legislation to mandate so-called network neutrality, which is nondiscrimination by networks against Internet software or servcices.