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31 August 2017
| James Pearce
US politicians have cancelled a hearing that was due to take place on 7 September over the future of internet access rules after no companies agreed to appear before the House of Representatives.
The likes of AT&T, Verizon,
Facebook, and Google-parent Alphabet had all been invited to
share their thoughts on access rules before the US House Energy
and Commerce Committee but, according to reports, none agreed
A spokesperson for committee chair Greg Walden said the
appearing had been postponed due to talks about future rules,
according to Reuters.
"As negotiations progress on a permanent solution for net
neutrality that ensures a free and open internet, the committee
will postpone the original hearing in order to allow talks
between stakeholders to continue," the spokesperson said.
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking to scrap
internet rules introduced by former chair Tom Wheeler during
the Obama administration, rules that have been generally
opposed by the industry.
The net neutrality rules see the FCC regulating the internet
as if it is a utility, meaning strict rules over blocking or
slowing content. Internet providers have generally praised the
rules, saying they protect the concept of an open internet, but
telecoms operators argue they go too far and could harm
None of the CEOs of the major companies invited to attend
had committed to testify, although Reuters reports that
committee aides have held several meetings with representatives
of the internet firms and service providers over recent
House of Representatives,