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FCC chairman spurns Net cable regulation

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell has reiterated his opposition to additional government regulation of cable Internet providers, which Microsoft, and other technology companies had requested. "Based on what we currently know, the case for government imposed regulations regarding the use or provision of broadband content, applications and devices is unconvincing and speculative," Powell said in a speech Sunday.

That echoes Powell's comments in an interview with CNET last fall, in which he said there was no clear need for a "government regulatory response" to head off the hypothetical threat of cable providers favoring some sites over others. In his speech this week to the University of Colorado School of Law, however, Powell added that broadband providers should preserve customers' freedom to run applications of their choice and use the hardware of their choice, as long as it did not involve theft of service.