Federal Communications Commission officials are quietly holding talks with phone and cable companies about a legislative compromise that would give the agency authority over Internet lines without the need to adopt a controversial proposal to reregulate Internet lines.
FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus and other senior FCC staffers are holding closed-door meetings with a small group of lobbyists representing Internet providers, including AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and Internet services providers, such as Google Inc. and Internet phone provider Skype Ltd. (...)
Public-interest groups were fuming about the private meetings with industry lobbyists, however. The agency did not invite any public-interest groups to attend the negotiation sessions.
President Obama pledged to “take a back seat to no one” in his support for Net Neutrality. His appointee to the FCC, Chairman Julius Genachowski, promised to bring a new era of transparency to proceedings on this and other important issues.
Yet now the FCC is huddling with industry lobbyists in closed-door meetings to cut a deal on the future of the Internet.
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