Workshop to Examine Broadband Connectivity Competition Issues, Including Network Neutrality

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a two-day public workshop on “Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy” in Washington, DC, on February 13 and 14, 2007. The workshop will bring together experts from business, government, and the technology sector, consumer advocates, and academics to explore competition and consumer protection issues relating to broadband Internet access, including so-called “network neutrality.” The workshop will explore issues raised by recent legal and regulatory determinations that providers of certain broadband Internet services, such as cable modem and DSL, are not subject to the Federal Communications Commission’s common-carrier regulations.

Agenda items for the two-day workshop include:

  • Technical Primer on the Internet;
  • What is the debate over “network neutrality” about?
  • Discrimination Against and Blockage of Content and Applications;
  • Network Operators Charging Fees for Prioritized Delivery of Data;
  • Current and Future State of Broadband Competition;
  • Consumer Protection Issues in Broadband Internet Access; and
  • What framework best promotes competition and consumer welfare? Industry and academic/policy views.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but who cannot attend can view a live Webcast of the workshop on the FTC’s Web site. For further information about the workshop, including a draft agenda, as well as instructions for pre-registering and submitting written comments on the topics to be addressed at the workshop, please consult the FTC Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/opp/workshops/broadband/index.html.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2181

STAFF CONTACT:

Maureen K. Ohlhausen,
Office of Policy Planning
202-326-2632