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In today’s hearing before the House Committee on Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Public Knowledge President & CEO Gigi B. Sohn will tell Congress that the future of video distribution promises to be more competitive and beneficial to consumers--but only if policymakers act now to make it so.
Sohn will testify that “it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Internet will disrupt the video marketplace. Dominant players in the market today have control both over the content their nascent online competitors need for their service, and over the pipes they must use to reach consumers. As a result much high-value programming is not available online, and online video providers have to contend with artificially low bandwidth caps and other discriminatory practices that keep them from reaching their full potential.”
Sohn argues that Congress should clear away “outdated rules that slow down the evolution of the video marketplace,” “extend the successful policies that allow competitors to access high-value content to certain online providers,” and “protect Internet openness and prevent discriminatory billing practices.” By doing these things, Sohn notes, policymakers “will increase competition, which will mean lower prices, better services, and more flexibility and control for consumers.”