The chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters provided insights into how broadcasters line up — or should line up — on net neutrality. In an interview with Variety, Gordon Smith hinted at support for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s initiative aimed at ensuring net neutrality.
“Smith suggested broadcasters now opposed to net neutrality may reconsider when they study the issue further,” Variety reports.
In the interview, Smith says: “It’s not aimed at us directly, and I think a lot of broadcasters are thankful to be out of the bull’s eye. It takes some of the heat we’ve felt over the last five years and moves it to another place. I just think (broadcasters) have so much energy expended on other things, they just haven’t focused on it the way the chairman gave us reason to focus on it moving forward.”
Addressing broadcasters Wednesday, Wheeler urged support for FCC rules on net neutrality, “likening the proposed open Internet/net neutrality rules to the must-carry rules supported by broadcasters,” Variety notes.
Smith later commented on Wheeler’s analogy, telling Variety: “I think his point is well taken,” and adding, “I think chairman Wheeler gave us food for thought.”
Variety notes: “The NAB has not taken a stand on net neutrality, and Smith said there are NAB members on both sides of the issue. Wheeler’s argument is that broadcasters should favor net neutrality, as it would keep broadcasters’ old enemy, the pay-TV providers, from restricting or throttling broadcasters’ own Web services.”