View Full Version : Urge your congressman to support Net neutrality

Brian Stewart
Apr 25th, 2006, 09:32 AM
There's a bill being put forth for debate in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Some mention of it is here, with links to other pages:


It's largely a giveaway to the telecom companies. Of particular concern is a watering down of internet requirements, which would essentially do away with "Net Neutrality". Net Neutrality is the requirement that all internet providers have to allow equal access to the entire internet. This bill would allow the phone companies to get around that, and show favoritism. Their own content providers, or those that pay the phone company, would get priority treatment. Others would be shunted to a second or third tier status, with slower and lower quality access, or require a seperate fee to gain access, or be blocked entirely. The phone companies claim they wouldn't do that, yet have blocked every amendment which would preserve Net Neutrality. (If they wouldn't do it, why block the amendments?)

This bill, and similar actions, are opposed by a wide range of interests, from the liberal, such as Moveon.org, to the conservative, such as the Gun Owners Of America, to many in between. All have banded together to acknowledge that the little voices deserve to be heard as much as the corporate ones. You can show your support by going to congress.org and contacting your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support strong Net Neutrality requirements on any telecom bills. Let them know that your support (vote) will go elsewhere if they don't.

Apr 25th, 2006, 12:40 PM
I don't know exactly what to say.
The Supreme Court made this even possible last year by telling cable providers of the net that they did not have to open their lines to other companies.
In many places if you want AOL, you have to have AOL and Verizon if you want broadband.
If it's stopped now, it will only be temporary.
The government is ignoring big businesses in a Republican term.
This is just another consequence of the Republican party being in office and having control of Congress.

Brian Stewart
May 14th, 2006, 10:20 AM
More information can be gleaned here:


Don't be fooled by the "astroturf" campaigns being spearheaded by, among others, Michael McCurry.

In the last couple of weeks, some interesting events. A Net Neutrality amendment offered by Ed Markey was defeated in committee, but the vote was much closer than expected. This despite the fact the "freedom fighters" got into the game rather late. It seems the big online companies, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, support Net Neutrality, as does Microsoft. (At least, until one of them gets a sweetheart deal from the Telecos.) And it seems like some Wall Street businesses aren't too keen on the idea of having to pay extra to the telecom companies to avoid relegation to the "slow lane".

The telecom companies are mounting their own misinformation campaign (such as "Hands off the Internet"). They claim they won't give preferential treatment to anyone, or degrade service to anyone else, and that we should just trust them to uphold the principles of Net Neutrality without coding it into the law. But these are the same guys we trusted with our phone records, and we see how well that worked out.

So, contact your Representatives and Senators, and ask them to support strong Net Neutrality requirements. Support the amendments by Ed Markey and Olympia Snowe.

May 14th, 2006, 01:00 PM
we are definitely selling our souls to big business. :fiery:

May 14th, 2006, 03:14 PM
we are definitely selling our souls to big business. :fiery:
Without addressing the specifics here (I don't currently know enough about the issue to) it raises something disturbing about corporate lobbying and issue advertising in general. While what they're advocating in a particular case may be bad for their customers, those same ppl (often a "captive audience", like the customers of an electricity provider) are paying for the company to promote its position, like it or not. (And can't "opt out", as union members can re. having part of their dues fund contibutions to political candidates, in the US anyway).