Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Internet neutrality issues surface

A big issue on the horizon and getting a lot of attention is the concern for Internet neutrality or net neutrality. To understand the definition and the history and current congressional action, visit the Wikipedia.

States the Wikipedia entry on Net Neutrality: "By late 2005, network neutrality provisions were included in several Congressional draft bills, as a part of ongoing proposals to reform the Telecommunications Act of 1996. They would generally require internet providers to allow consumers access to any application, content, or service. However, important exceptions allow providers to discriminate for security purposes, or to offer specialized services like "broadband video" service.

On March 30, 2006 press release Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.) chaired a subcommittee hearing for a mark up of the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Efficiency Act of 2006 scheduled for April. Read more about the action in Congress in Business Week: "In a vote of 34 to 22, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce rejected an amendment to a sweeping telecommunications law, the Communications, Promotion, & Enhancement Act of 2006. The proposal, by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would have given the Federal Communications Commission the power to prohibit discrimination when it comes to sending traffic over the Internet. In effect, the amendment would block the creation of a multilane "information highway," where network operators could give preference to their own content, or ensure speedier delivery to content providers that pay extra fees."

In April 2006 a large coalition of bi-partisan blogs and independent groups created Save The Internet, a fund-raising and political-action venue for endorsing the concepts of network neutrality. Within a week of its establishment, over 250 thousand signatures were delivered to Congress in favor of enshrining net neutrality as law."

Helping people understand this issue is going to take some time and effort - hope you will join the effort by joining Save The Internet.