Sources inside and outside the FCC confirm that
there was a meeting Monday between top FCC staffers and at least three of the
industry stakeholders involved in long-standing discussions over network
The meeting was with NCTA President Kyle
McSlarrow, AT&T Senior EVP of External and Legal Affairs James Cicconi
and Tom Tauke, EVP, public affairs, policy and communications, according to the
sources, who said there were separate meetings with public interest group
representatives and tech types.
Together, those groups were part of joint,
FCC-brokered discussions earlier in the year to try to come up with a
compromise on securing Internet openness. Those talks eventually broke off
after participants Verizon and Google struck a side agreement on net neutrality
guidelines that divided the coalition of the Internet willing over the
issues of applying them to wireless broadband and so-called managed services.
Separately, according to an ex parte
filing, Cicconi talked with Edward Lazarus, the FCC's chief of staff, last
Friday (Nov. 19) and Sunday (Nov. 21) about the network neutrality proceeding.
Sources indicate FCC Chairman
Julius Genachowski is trying to come up with an item as early as the
December meeting that would use existing FCC authority to expand and codify the
commission's network openness principles per last October's proposed rulemaking
and similar to a legislative compromise under House Energy & Commerce
Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) that had industry support but failed
to get the Republican backing Waxman had said was necessary to proceed.
In his separate meeting with Lazarus, Cicconi talked up the merits
of the Waxman bill and said it should be a "model" for any
"substantive resolution" of the issue.