Field Reports1 Aug, 2007 By: Thomas Haire, Courtney Beth Pugatch Response
Net neutrality is the notion that Internet service providers should treat all online traffic equally. In a statement, Majoras said that without evidence of "market failure or demonstrated consumer harm, policy makers should be particularly hesitant to enact new regulation in this area."
Comments from Majoras provide support for the telecommunications companies (such as AT&T and Comcast), which oppose net neutrality regulation. These companies are seeking the option of transmitting certain content faster or more reliably than other data for a fee. Supporters of net neutrality — including much of the direct response business — however, are concerned that Internet access providers could slow or block content in the absence of such rules.
However, Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), told the trade newsweekly DM News last month, "There are still many potential problems that haven't been addressed. The larger broadband service providers have the ability and have stated a willingness to discriminate by speeding access to sites where providers may have a relationship and potentially deny access to other sites."
The ERA has been a leading voice in support of net neutrality regulation, and has done extensive lobbying on Capitol Hill for the position of many DR marketers. The association hosted a government affairs day in the nation's capital this past spring, and a number of the direct response industry's leaders were able to meet with congressmen and senators regarding the topic.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice have jurisdiction over high-speed Internet access. While Congress has considered legislation that would mandate network neutrality, the debate has seemed to stall recently. A move by telecommunications leaders to take advantage of the current lack of regulation may cause a shift in both the FTC's and FCC's current hands-off policies.
ERAEurope Draws Solid European DR Attendance
MONTECARLO, Monaco — The Electronic Retailing Association welcomed nearly 300 attendees to its annual European event, June 17-19, with key European leaders on hand to hear from keynote speaker and "Funky Business" author Jonas Ridderstråle.
Response's Thomas Haire chats with Rick Petry, ERA chairman, and Alexander Chacon of Spain's European Home Shopping.
However, usual strong attendance by American DR companies flagged as the event returned to the Fairmont Monte Carlo Grand for the third time in four years. Still, word is that the event will return to the same location in June 2008.
By Courtney Beth Pugatch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• A.J. Khubani, president and CEO of TELEBrands, was featured on ABC's "Nightline" program on July 13. Khubani, who was dubbed the "King of Infomercials" by "Nightline," has uploaded the interesting and entertaining segment to his Web site at www.ajkhubani.com.
• Concepts TV Productions announces a series of recent personnel moves: Kristy Pinand-Dumpert has been named director of sales, while Jaime Schneider has been named director of production and will be heading up Concepts' new media department. Jon Gregory joined Concepts' production staff as a full-time in house editor in its Boonton, N.J., office.
• Motivational Fulfillment & Logistics Services (MFLS) has opened a new facility that will bring an additional 400,000 square feet of warehouse space to the company. The additional facility is located next to MFLS' current home office in Chino, Calif., and gives MFLS' total facilities a capacity of almost 800,000 square feet.