washingtonpost.com – Before a room full of start-up entrepreneurs in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker was asked about her department’s role in the ongoing debate over net neutrality, or the idea that all online content should be treated the same by Internet service providers. The question matters because some of the 111-year-old Commerce Department’s natural constituents — big, entrenched telecommunications companies like AT&T and Comcast — have had a strong negative reaction to President Obama’s call, issued a week ago, for the Federal Communications Commission to adopt the “strongest possible rules” to prevent Internet service providers from accepting money to make some Web sites and online services, like Netflix, run faster.

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