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CONTACT: Mike Wendy
June 9, 2010
(202) 969-2957
PFF Praises Internet Technical Advisory Group
TAG Will Provide Important Dispute Resolution Process for Internet Ecosystem

WASHINGTON D.C. — A new voluntary Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG or TAG) is being announced today with the goal of bringing together Internet engineers and other technical experts "to develop consensus on broadband network management practices or other related technical issues that can affect users' Internet experience, including the impact to and from applications, content and devices that utilize the Internet." BITAG's goals include: (1) educating policymakers on such technical issues; (2) attempting to address specific technical matters in an effort to minimize related policy disputes; and (3) serving as a sounding board for new ideas and network management practices. BITAG will be chaired by University of Colorado at Boulder Adjunct Professor Dale Hatfield.

PFF President Adam Thierer had the following comments on the announced formation of the BITAG:

This new Technical Advisory Group is a very sensible step forward and a constructive alternative to the "Net Neutrality Wars" that continue to rage in Washington. BITAG essentially "de-politicizes" Internet engineering issues by offering an independent forum for parties to have technical disputes mediated and resolved—without government involvement or onerous rulemakings. Consequently, this will help avoid the red tape and incessant delays that usually accompany bureaucratic resolution mechanisms, which can stifle continuous technological innovation and investments.
The diverse array of companies and organizations playing a part in BITAG makes it clear that voluntary technical dispute resolution mechanisms are not only feasible but desired by parties on all sides. And Dale Hatfield is a great choice to head the group. His experience and demeanor are perfectly suited for such an adjudicatory body.

Thierer recently co-authored a report with Mike Wendy, "The Constructive Alternative to Net Neutrality Regulation and Title II Reclassification Wars," which called for mechanisms like BITAG to create "quick, non-government-driven dispute resolution fora, best practices and industry-led guidance."

Thierer may be reached for comment. For further information, please contact Mike Wendy at

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. PFF is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



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