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House Tech Panel Hears Testimony on Paid Prioritization

Yesterday, members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing on Internet prioritization. Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) opened by stating that the Internet is based on prioritization and that prioritizing some content over others is already a crucial tool for network management—analogous to ambulances being granted priority over passenger cars on roadways. Ranking member Michael Doyle (D-PA), on the other hand, opened with the assertion that paid prioritization only benefits Internet service providers and their shareholders, while harming innovators and consumers.

Among the witnesses were Richard Bennett, Founder of High Tech Forum; Peter Rysavy, President of Rysavy Research; Paul Schroeder, Director of Public Policy and Strategic Alliances at Aira Tech; and Matt Wood, Policy Director at Free Press. Bennett, Rysavy, and Schroeder all emphasized the importance of prioritization and its role in maintaining a competitive and beneficial market for consumers.

Other members spoke in opposition to paid prioritization, including a discussion of a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval by Doyle, intended to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s recent Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

Read more of CEI’s work on net neutrality and prioritization here: