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Mayors Call for Preventing ‘Paid Prioritization’ on Internet

The country’s mayors passed a resolution on Monday urging the FCC, Congress and the White House to support robust net neutrality rules, including those that would prevent Internet providers from charging content providers to obtain preferential access to consumers.

The resolution, which passed unanimously at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Dallas, also said that one approach to net neutrality under consideration by the FCC would be insufficient to prevent paid prioritization. That FCC proposal would require that Internet providers engage in “commercial reasonable” practices in how they carry content, a standard that critics say falls short of previous efforts to establish net neutrality rules.

“Since the beginning of the Internet, broadband Internet access services have continued to invest in a single infrastructure which has increased average speeds for all users across our nation, without resorting to the practice of prioritization for users who can afford to pay the most,” the resolution said.

Nevertheless, the mayors stopped short of passing a resolution explicitly calling for the Internet to be classified like a utility, a controversial move that would give the FCC more regulatory authority over broadband. But ISPs contend that the flood of new rules and regulations by such an approach would stifle innovation. That resolution was proposed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, but it was reworked so that the mayors ended up taking no side on that debate.

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