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Under Pressure FCC Ends Closed Door Meetings

WASHINGTON — FCC Chief of Staff Edward Lazarus called off closed-door negotiations with major ISPs and Internet companies on Thursday, pledging “to seek broad input on this vital issue.” The announcement comes in the wake of news that Verizon and Google are hatching plans to abandon open Internet protections. Both the corporate deal-making and the closed-door meetings have generated widespread public outrage.

After the FCC meeting, Chairman Julius Genachowski said: "Any outcome, any deal that doesn't preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable."

Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

“We welcome the FCC’s decision to end its backroom meetings. Phones have been ringing off the hook and e-mail inboxes overflowing at the FCC, as an outraged public learned about the closed-door deal-making and saw the biggest players trying to carve up the Internet for themselves. We’re relieved to see that the FCC now apparently finds dangerous side deals from companies like Verizon and Google to be distasteful and unproductive.

“Now the FCC must match the chairman’s words with decisive actions. We need our leaders in Washington to make the tough decisions and take on the difficult task of standing up to entrenched interests and pushing forward strong rules that will protect Internet users everywhere. Today, Julius Genachowski and the FCC took a big step back from the brink and gave everyone who cares about the free an open Internet reason to be hopeful that they still might do the right thing.” 

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Free Press does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more atwww.freepress.net



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