Net neutrality fight goes to the Senate floor
Let the folks over at USA Today summarize Ted Stevens' proposed telecom legislation. The Senate bill does not provide strong protections for net neutrality. In addition, the bill would:
|• Pre-empt state consumer protection laws on wireless services. [Ed: presumably written in by telco lobbyists, who probably want to centralize the lobbying spend at the Federal level]
• Make permanent a ban on taxes on Internet access.
• Allow TV and radio broadcasters to place copyright protection technology in their programs.
• Reform the system of universal service fees, which subsidize phone service in rural areas. Broadband and Internet-based phone services would have to pay into the fund. [Ed: presumably written in by telco lobbyists, who seek to suppress any innovative, IP-based voice services such as Skype, Vonage, etc.]
• Let cities provide their own high-speed Internet service.
Ben Scott, Policy Director of the Free Press writes:
| The issue of Net Neutrality will continue to gain speed as the full Senate takes up a bill that will determine the fate of Internet freedom.
The voices of millions of average citizens are just starting to break through the misinformation and lies being peddled by the big phone and cable companies who want to erect tollbooths on the Internet. Across the country, people are catching on to these companies’ plans, and they won’t forget which leaders stood up for the public interest...
How could such a thing happen? Well, consider Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) -- recipient of major telco funding ($71,250 in this year's cycle, according to MoveOn.org) and -- coincidentally (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) -- major backer of this legislation. Let's listen in on Stevens as he elaborates on his rationale for backing the telcos in this fight:
|...We're using the Internet for personal communication. We're not using it for commercial purposes...
...We don't know enough to turn the Net into a two-tier system, which is exactly what Net neutrality would do...
...An internet was sent by my staff...
Letting rockets scientists like Stevens guide the future of the Internet is like having Britney Spears and K-Fed babysit your newborn child. There'll be lots of smoke and crying following all of the bad decisions.
I sent an Internet to him to complain. You can go to Save The Internet and make a series of calls to the Senators in question. Make your voice heard over the ringing of the lobbyists' cash registers in the Senate.