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Outgoing FCC Chair Drops Porn-Free Requirement From Broadband Plan

Kevin Martin said he would rather kill a portion of the proposal rather than see the entire plan abandoned.

Outgoing FCC Chair Drops Porn-Free Requirement From Broadband Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Kevin Martin, outgoing chair of the Federal Communications Commission, contacted media site Ars Technica to say that he has dropped his requirement for no porn in a section of wireless broadband he wants the organization to auction off.

Martin's original proposal would have required the winner of the auction of broadband spectrum to provide porn-less, free wireless access to all Americans. But, according to Ars Technica, Martin said he would rather remove the porn restriction rather than see the entire plan abandoned.

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"I'm saying if this is a problem for people, let's take it away," Martin told Ars Technica. "A lot of public interest advocates have said they would support this, but we're concerned about the filter. Well, now there's an item in front of the Commissioners and it no longer has the filter. And I've already voted for it without the filter now. So it's already got one vote."

The porn ban had several opponents, including civil liberties advocates who claimed the plan amounted to nothing more than censorship.

Martin's plan, which was introduced more than a year ago, has encountered several stumbling blocks, including a recent Congressional letter to Martin in regard to a planned Dec. 18 meeting about the plan.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) wrote in the letter that "it would be counterproductive for the FCC to consider unrelated items, especially complex and controversial items that the new Congress and new administration will have an interest in reviewing."

The meeting was subsequently cancelled, and the proposed plan is not on the agenda for an FCC meeting scheduled for Jan. 6.






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Todd Lewis

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