As you may have seen today, Comcast, along with other leading high-tech companies, announced the formation of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group, or 'BITAG' for short.

This is a pretty innovative idea that I think will be welcome by everyone who wants to see the Internet flourish. The purpose of the BITAG is to discuss increasingly novel technical issues that arise from the ever-evolving Internet in a neutral, engineer-driven forum that will facilitate discussions of these issues and provide guidance where appropriate. As the press release notes, 'The TAG's mission is to bring together engineers and other similar technical experts to develop consensus on broadband network management practices or other related technical issues that can affect users' Internet experience, including the impact to and from applications, content and devices that utilize the Internet."

We're excited to be able to partner with such a diverse group of stakeholders in the Internet community. Professor Dale Hatfield of the University of Colorado is one of the most respected people in his field, and he has already played an important role in bringing together a cross-section of key players.

In addition, I'm pleased that the BITAG effort has earned the support of the Internet Society (ISOC) and its Chief Internet Technical Officer, Leslie Daigle, who noted that the BITAG "is an important contribution to the ongoing global, open technical dialog. "ISOC is looking forward to seeing the BITAG's output "appropriately integrated with the work of existing Internet standard activities," she added.

In my experience, these kinds of inclusive and broad-based technical groups - whether the BITAG, IETF, ISOC, NANOG (focused on network operations), MAAWG (focused on messaging abuse and spam), or others - are important to maintaining a well functioning Internet, based on a model that is collaborative rather than adversarial, in a results-oriented, open, consensus-based process, which has been the hallmark of Internet governance from the very beginning.

We have a lot of confidence that this new BITAG can help to address problems, promote best practices, and get all Internet participants, including representatives of Internet users, working well together. We are happy to join in what we believe will be a productive dialogue with many Internet stakeholders to make this new group a success.