Net Neutrality Loses First Battle

11 comments

Not trying to stir up the political debate, but since this will have an effect on the way all of us do business I think it's important to make you aware of Democrats lose House vote on Net neutrality | CNET News.com

By a 34-22 vote, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee rejected a Democratic-backed Net neutrality amendment that also enjoyed support from Internet and software companies including Microsoft, Amazon.com and Google.

"I'm concerned about e-mails being blocked from advocacy groups, of all sides," said Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat who supported the amendment. "I'm concerned about start-ups that may be shut down."

While efforts to rewrite telecommunications laws often languish in obscurity, advocacy groups and corporations have raised public alarms about the section of the 34-page bill pertaining to Net neutrality (also called network neutrality).

Opponents of the bill's Net neutrality portion say it doesn't go far enough to target possible errant behavior by AT&T, Verizon Communications and other broadband providers. A "Save the Internet" coalition has even been created and boasts members such as the left-leaning Moveon.org, the American Library Association and the libertarian-conservative group Gun Owners of America.

The groups say the Federal Communications Commission must be given power to prevent broadband providers from doing things like charging content providers extra for the privilege of faster delivery or other preferential treatment.

"Did the Bells create the Internet? Did the cable companies create the Internet?" asked Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and sponsor of the amendment. "The answer is no. The Internet was built on a different model, a public interest model, funded by American taxpayers."

and from Save the Internet

Ok, so the vote on the Markey amendment to protect the internet has happened, and it was voted down, 34-22. That is a big deal. It’s too bad we lost the vote, but we expected that loss. What we did not expected was the narrow margin. By way of comparison, the subcommittee vote was 23-8, which means we should have gotten blown out of the water. We did not. All four targeted Dems by McJoan on Daily Kos flipped to our side, and many of the Congressmen both for and against this campaign mentioned the blogs and angry constituents.

Comments

blogs matter

I've heard it a few times on the radio news this week... politicos encouraging people to blog on issues. Must be the new black around the beltway.

Perhaps I'm behind on this

Perhaps I'm behind on this argument, but isn't the whole "Save the internet" issue one of some ISPs trying to prevent other ISPs trying to raise their costs?

And therefore the whole "Save the internet" campaign is simply battle between corporates, with emotive progaganda thrown in to support one billion-dollar corporation over another?

no expert

I'm not an expert on this but from what I read and understand it it prevents telecom companies from giving preferential treatment to anyone on the net. For example lets say your cable ISP company wanted to grow their VOIP service, without network neutrality they could block access to competing VOIP services or charge you a higher monthly fee to use someone else.

Already happening...

charge you a higher monthly fee to use someone else.

The company I work for is half webdev / half ISP. The local phone company already is charging more for customers who want to use us as their DSL provider. If you go completely through them, cutting us out, you get less-than-wholesale rates. They're willing to take a loss just to count you as a subscriber.

Hurts Smaller Sites

It could hurt smaller sites and smaller hosting companies. It could mean the end of a lot of new web 2.0 ideas that pose a threat to existing large companies. NewsCorp can pay more to ensure Myspace loads faster than all competitors. It's a horrible idea to put that kind of power in the Bell's hands.

From the way it sounds, I

From the way it sounds, I would say that it would impact the U.S. economy quite a bit.

Any way you slice it, sooner

Any way you slice it, sooner or later most of the bell companies will become irrelevant because they are too focused on monetizing and protecting instead of trying to create real value.

Let that be so. Astoundingly

Let that be so.

Astoundingly poor customer service, too. IMO

it'll be later.

They got themselves into the "really really big" business category, so they have plenty of political clout for years to come.

Hmmmm...

I don't know how excited I am about putting power into the government's hands on this issue. To date, we have few, if any, instances of sites being blocked. However, the government has a long history of overregulating industries into extinction. Our legislators have their own (campaign) pocketbooks to think about.

Response

Tpwk47- You set out some good points. Up till now there has been almost no recorded violations of net neutrality. As such, I must agree that it is a bad idea to bring the government into this matter. They have much better things to be doing.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.