House Republicans Ask Tech CEOs To Talk About Net Neutrality

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United States Republican Representative Greg Walden is leading an effort to ask key figures in the tech and telecom worlds to talk with the US government about Net Neutrality. Walden has scheduled a hearing for September 7, at which time he will assemble his House Energy and Commerce Committee, with other key Republican figures free to join in, to hear the various figureheads' feelings on the issue. At this time, that's not an order; tech CEOs who would like to skip the meeting have the option to do so, though it's entirely possible that the request could become an order between now and then. The list of tech companies whose CEOs have been invited to the hearing includes Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Charter, and Netflix.

Key figures in tech and communications are invited to the hearing, but it will seemingly happen with or without them at this point. Walden heads up the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but has thus far not let his Republican leanings fully dictate his actions in that role. Part of that commitment to neutrality is this hearing. Walden says in his letter to the various tech companies that he does agree with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai's stance that the current Title II Net Neutrality regulations are heavy handed, but he wants to hold this hearing as a chance for tech companies and the government to work together toward crafting new laws.

The common sentiment across party lines is that some kind of Net Neutrality laws are needed in order to keep the internet free and open while being careful not to stifle innovation, and many both inside and outside of the political world feel that Congress and the House of Representatives may be the best equipped to draft up such a law. Many tech companies openly told the FCC in public comments on the matter that such an issue should be decided on a grander, more neutral scale. Some lawmakers have spoken out saying that they don't want to work on such important regulations in the current political climate. Still, a repeal of the Obama-era Title II rules that have governed how Net Neutrality is approached for the past few years is almost an inevitability at this point, so one way or another, lawmakers will have to address the issue.

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