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Ear to the Ground

House Rejects Net Neutrality

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Posted on Jun 10, 2006
Toll Booth
From mccofnsw.org.au

The U.S. government is moving to erect tolls on the Internet.

The Nation’s John Nichols explains how perilously close the U.S. government is to making a toll road out of the Internet—on which only the rich websites will be able to pay to have their content load move fastest.


John Nicols in The Nation:

The First Amendment of the Internet ? the governing principle of net neutrality, which prevents telecommunications corporations from rigging the web so it is easier to visit sites that pay for preferential treatment ? took a blow from the House of Representatives Thursday.

Bowing to an intense lobbying campaign that spent tens of millions of dollars ? and held out the promise of hefty campaign contributions for those members who did the bidding of interested firms ? the House voted 321 to 101 for the disingenuously-named Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE). That bill, which does not include meaningful network-neutrality protections creates an opening that powerful telephone and cable companies hope to exploit by expanding their reach while doing away with requirements that they maintain a level playing field for access to Internet sites.

“Special interest advocates from telephone and cable companies have flooded the Congress with misinformation delivered by an army of lobbyists to undermine decades-long federal practice of prohibiting network owners from discriminating against competitors to shut out competition. Unless the Senate steps in, (Thursday’s) vote marks the beginning of the end of the Internet as an engine of new competition, entrepreneurship and innovation.” says Jeannine Kenney, a senior policy analyst for Consumers Union.

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By John, June 11, 2006 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First off, don’t listen to everything you hear on the news. Google and their buddies want a free internet? Foolishness, they know the game. If congress passes a law which allows cable companies to charge websites on bandwidth, guess who will be able to afford the new costs? That’s right Google, and who won’t? The next Google like startup, the costs will be too high. Yes, a monopoly will happen immediately over the internet premium services. Google doesn’t want it? Hog wash, they welcome it.

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