House Approves Resolution Backing Multistakeholder Internet Governance

Meant to send signal to ITU members seeking more top-down government involvement

The House Thursday voted to approve H. Con. Res. 127, the
"sense of the House" resolution backing a multistakeholder model of
Internet governance.

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

"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."