A group of 13 technology executives have urged the US government not to introduce heavy handed regulations on high speed Internet access and other data services.
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the group said that consumers will get more choice if the government trusts the market to determine how emerging broadband networks will be created and used.
Amongst the industry heavyweights signing the letter were: Leslie Vadasz, senior vice president of Intel; Eckhard Pfeiffer, president of Compaq; Christopher Caine, vice president of IBM; and Eric Schmidt, chairman of Novell.
The FCC is currently looking closely at requests from America Online, telephone companies and consumer groups to impose regulations on Tele-Communications' (TCI) high speed TV lines as a condition of allowing TCI to merge with AT&T.
The opponents to the merger want AT&T and TCI to offer other companies access to their lines to provide competing Internet, cable and telephone services.
"Government intervention is particularly misplaced in the case of new broadband networks deployed by entities that lack the market position of traditional telephone companies," the letter said.
The group of executives believe that any new government regulation in this area will hobble investment and slow down the creation of high speed networks. If this happens companies would lose the business advantage that fast Internet and data services will provide for consumers.
Other letter signaturees were: John Doerr, partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Peter Fenner, president of Com21; C. Richard Kramlich, a partner in New Enterprise Associates; Roger McNamee, partner in Integral Capital Partners; Gary Griffiths, CEO of Segasoft Networks; Jim Breyer, partner in Accel Partners; Ric Fulop, president Arepa; and Kevin Bermeister, president of Brillant Digital Entertainment.
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