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WASHINGTON – The House and Senate Commerce Committees announced today that they intend to hold a series of stakeholder meetings on communications policy issues, including the Federal Communications Commission's authority over broadband.

In response, Free Press Policy Counsel Aparna Sridhar made the following statement:

“We welcome the committees’ willingness to address critical broadband policy issues. But we are skeptical that any meaningful legislation can be adopted in the near term. As a result, even as Congress proceeds, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski should heed Rep. Waxman’s and Sen. Rockefeller's calls for the Commission to move full speed ahead in its efforts to reclassify broadband. Americans have waited far too long for the industry to deliver the benefits of a world-class broadband network.

“The FCC can and should act while Congress initiates these discussions. If communications legislation does not emerge from Congress by the end of summer, then the Commission’s efforts will assure consumer protections and broadband deployment while Congress continues its work. From the banking crisis to the oil spill, we have all been reminded of what happens when companies are left to police themselves while Congress moves through the deliberative process.”

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