Tubin’! Sen. Stevens Back on Net Neutrality

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Sen. Ted “Tubes” Stevens (R-Alaska) warned FCC Chairman Kevin Martin yesterday that the upcoming digital TV transition should be his No. 1 priority, and that Martin should forget distractions like a la carte cable pricing and Net Neutrality.

According to Multichannel News, Sen. Stevens said:

“I won’t get offensive, but there are other issues that are just not time sensitive—a la carte, for instance, and net neutrality,” Stevens said. “In my judgment, they are solutions looking for a problem. We have a major problem and the major problem is the digital transition.”

Yes, the upcoming switch to digital TV is an important issue that could affect up to 20 million homes who receive over-the-air-transmissions. And we’re on board with the Senator that à la carte cable is a sucker’s bet. But given revelations that Comcast blocked BitTorrent traffic and is now angling to throttle heavy web users, while Road Runner, Charter and Cox already have anti-P2P measures in their TOS, maybe this is one solution still in need of a solution.

This isn’t the first time Stevens has pooh-poohed the notion of Net Neutrality. He rocketed to fame in 2006 for calling the Internet a “series of tubes” that was clogged with too much information.

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