Digest

Net neutrality legislation stalls in House

An employee indicates a bid in the auction of Lehman artwork.
An employee indicates a bid in the auction of Lehman artwork. (Ben Stansall)

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that his proposed net-neutrality bill was effectively scrapped after Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) declined to support the legislation.

In a statement, Waxman urged the Federal Communications Commission to reassert its authority to regulate broadband access providers.

Doing so would allow the FCC to create its own rules governing management of Web traffic - an effort that was thrown into doubt when a federal court ruled that the agency overstepped its authority by sanctioning Comcast for allegedly violating broadband rules.

Waxman said legislation to regulate Internet service providers could still be introduced in this Congress.

But analysts say it will be harder to advance such a measure after the midterm elections.

Barton said GOP lawmakers didn't think there was enough time to create a bill that wouldn't hurt investment in broadband networks. He also warned against the FCC's proposal to reclassify broadband services.

- Cecilia Kang

Congress passes tech-accessibility bill

The blind will have greater access to the Internet through smartphones, and devices such as iPhones and BlackBerrys will have to be hearing-aid compatible, under legislation Congress has sent to the president.

The legislation passed the Senate last month and was approved by the House late Tuesday. The measure sets federal guidelines for the telecommunications industry ensuring that the blind will have access to the Web through improved user interfaces for smartphones.

Among other provisions, the law will also provide the deaf with the ability to watch new TV programs online with captions included.

- Associated Press

Lehman Brothers artwork auctioned

Artwork from doomed investment bank Lehman Brothers raised $2.5 million at an auction in London on Wednesday - a tiny fraction of the $613 billion in debts held by the firm when it collapsed. Christie's said a 10-foot-long sign that adorned the bank's European headquarters sold for $66,500, while a plaque commemorating the opening of the office by then-British treasury secretary Gordon Brown went for $45,400.

Lehman collapsed in September 2008, helping cause one of the worst financial crises since the Great Depression.

- Associated Press


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