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Congress invites tech CEOs to testify at net neutrality hearing

Invitees include CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon.
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Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Today, during a hearing on FCC oversight, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden announced another hearing entitled "Ground Rules for the Internet Ecosystem." That hearing will discuss potential legislation regarding net neutrality regulations and the committee has invited CEOs of major tech companies and internet providers to testify. Some of the companies include Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Netflix, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Charter Communications.

"A strong consensus is forming across party lines and across industries that it's time for Congress to call a halt on the back-and-forth and set clear net neutrality ground rules for the internet," said Walden, "With almost everyone in agreement about fundamental principles to prevent anti-competitive behavior such as throttling and blocking, I think we are closer than ever to achieving a lasting resolution. The time has come to get everyone to the table and get this figured out."

While some of the invitees include companies like Facebook, Alphabet, Netflix and Amazon that took part in the recent Day of Action against the FCC's proposed changes to net neutrality regulations, others, such as Comcast and AT&T have said they back net neutrality but not the Title II classification that was implemented in 2015. Remarks from Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn during today's hearing emphasized her support of the latter's viewpoints. "The last FCC, at the behest of President Obama, pushed far beyond its legal authority to create an unstable set of mandates and a mountain of unanswered questions," said Blackburn, "Like Title II classification, the inflammatory rhetoric is unsustainable, so it has been encouraging to see a change in tone from some quarters and willingness to work with Congress to bring needed certainty to all participants in the internet economy. I expect this hearing will create an opportunity for fruitful discussions and a real solution."

The hearing will take place on September 7th at 10AM Eastern.

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