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WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission chairman reportedly is continuing to hold closed-door meetings with a few large phone, cable and Internet content companies to negotiate a “compromise” on the crucial issue of Network Neutrality that could jeopardize the free and open Internet. Consumer groups, small businesses, civil rights leaders and other stakeholders have been excluded from these negotiations.

Free Press President Josh Silver made the following statement:

“Despite public outrage and repeated promises of transparency, the FCC continues to meet behind closed doors with the largest companies to negotiate a secret deal that would short-circuit public participation in policymaking that would shape the Internet for a generation. The great irony here is that the FCC’s 'transparency' policy is part of these negotiations.

"President Obama and Chairman Genachowski promised to protect the open Internet, and they should reject any compromise that tries to water down real Net Neutrality or riddle it with loopholes. Any 'compromise' that allows the powerful telecom and Internet companies to prioritize their content over all others is not real Net Neutrality; it's fake Net Neutrality. A deal struck by Verizon, Comcast and Google doesn’t represent the public interest, and is no excuse for the FCC to abdicate its responsibility to protect Internet users. The future of the Internet should not be decided in a back room.”

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