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Google, eBay, EarthLink, Amazon, Discuss Net Neutrality


Washington, D.C. - (Website Hosting Directory) - February 20, 2007 - The FTC Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy workshop, recently brought together experts from business, government, and the technology sector, consumer advocates, and academics to explore competition and consumer protection issues relating to broadband Internet access, including "network neutrality."

The workshop examined the capabilities and incentives of broadband Internet service providers to discriminate against, degrade, block, or charge fees for prioritized delivery of unaffiliated content and applications. The workshop also addressed the potential effects of network neutrality regulation on innovation and competition in the market for broadband access.

The president and CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association, Barbara Tulipane, served as a panelist for a discussion on broadband connectivity, at the Federal Trade Commission's Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy workshop.

The Electronic Retailing Association is the only industry association representing direct response marketing companies and major retailers that use electronic media to sell goods and services to consumers. During the panel, which focused on quality of service, tiering, and charging fees for prioritized delivery of broadband access, Ms. Tulipane stressed the need to continue a non-prioritized, "open" Internet scenario. While Tulipane believes that providers can recoup their investment and create additional revenue streams by charging for non-Internet related broadband applications, such as video or television, she believes that the Internet should be separated from such broadband services.

Ms. Tulipane offered, "This position keeps the Internet as an open network where our smaller retailers can continue to provide consumers with content the consumer wants,, because in today's world the consumer is in charge."

Ms. Tulipane also stressed the importance of innovation for Internet content providers. As today's Internet is comprised of interconnected networks that do not distinguish service based on source or content, providers have been forced to innovate in order to meet consumers' changing shopping habits. However, prioritization based on source or content will result in a closed network, and will stifle the innovation of both large and small e-retailers. Ms. Tulipane continued, "What's interesting about the ERA membership is that the small players today may very well be a Google, or an eBay, tomorrow. Their model for success is their ability to innovate."

Representing a more than $300 billion market, the Electronic Retailing Association is the trade association in the U.S. and internationally for major companies in the multi-channel electronic retail industry, which includes long- and short-form commercials, live shopping channels, the Internet and radio. ERA counts industry leaders like Guthy-Renker, HSN, QVC, ShopNBC, Match.com and eBay among its member companies.

For more information on the Electronic Retailing Association, please visit: http://www.retailing.org.

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Feb 20, 2007