FTTH Council hosts net neutrality discussion on Capitol Hill

MAY 22, 2008 -- The policy discussion was held as Congress considers legislation that would affect Internet regulation and network management practices.

MAY 22, 2008 -- The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council (search for the FTTH Council) hosted a discussion today on network management on Capitol Hill. The policy discussion was held as Congress considers legislation that would affect Internet regulation and network management practices.

The discussion included representatives of BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer content delivery provider, and US Sonet, a CLEC and FTTH network operator in southern Illinois. The industry representatives used the opportunity to assert that net neutrality legislation would harm the ability of operators to manage networks to the satisfaction of Internet users.

Representative Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, has introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, HR 5353. Additionally, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-16) have introduced H.R. 5994, the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Both bills would create net neutrality regulations for broadband service providers.

BitTorrent's Chief Technology Officer, Eric Klinker stated, "We all recognize the torrid growth of bandwidth-intensive video and applications on the Internet, and given BitTorrent's expertise and global footprint, it is crucial we work with the networking community to understand which practices to employ that will preserve a superior end-user experience."

"There is a continuing need to monitor and manage the networks to ensure available bandwidth for all subscribers," said John Andrews, president of US Sonet. "Network management is crucial and necessary for the success of new broadband applications and services. And, changing network threats require constantly changing network management practices."

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