Get Involved in Net Neutrality Debate - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/06/06

Get Involved in Net Neutrality Debate

Some say pending legislation will change the internet as we know it.

Here's the pending legislation:

S.2686, the Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act (Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska)

and

H.R.5252, Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act (Rep. Tom Barton, R-Texas Dist. 6)

Both address video service, emergency services, broadband deployment and more. Critics claim they do nothing or too little to address what is called net neutrality, a developing term used by advocates to call for legislation like the following:

S. 2917, Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2006 (Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine)

H.R. 5273, Network Neutrality Act of 2006 (Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts Dist. 7)

These bills specifically address net neutrality, requiring all broadband providers to treat all internet content equally, and not offer preferential treatment to any content provider for a premium. Supporters say it's necessary to protect small businesses and consumers from limited access to one another.

Critics say such laws would be in response to fear rather than any actual cases of ISPs blocking or slowing access to content, that it's a "solution in search of a problem." Some say such legislation could stifle infrastructure development and drive broadband costs up.

Bills can be looked up by number at:

http://thomas.loc.gov/

A group opposed to network neutrality legislation can be found here:

http://www.netcompetition.org/

Another supporting net neutrality laws can be found here:

http://www.savetheinternet.com/

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