Tech Groups Launch Broadband Advisory Group

A group of tech companies has joined forces to create a broadband Internet task force that will develop a consensus on net neutrality issues, which have been the source of ongoing debate between Internet service and content providers.

The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (TAG), announced Wednesday, will comprise technical experts and engineers who will draft advisory materials on network management practices and submit suggestions to policy-makers.

"The TAG will function as a neutral, expert technical forum and promote a greater consensus around technical practices within the Internet community," said Dale Hatfield, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in a statement.

Net neutrality was thrust center stage this spring with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) decision to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunication network rather than an information service. Reclassification enables the FCC to enforce net neutrality, which provides for the equal treatment of all web content by Internet service providers.

Critics of the reclassification argue that it makes broadband service vulnerable to monopolization, while advocates say it's the best way to preserve a free and open Internet.

Founding members of TAG include representatives from AT&T, Comcast, Google and Time Warner Cable.

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