Saturday, May 27, 2006

Save the Internet: a bill for Network Neutrality

Today's news: A bipartisan majority on the House Judiciary Committee passed the "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act" - a good bill that would protect Network Neutrality and prohibit large phone and cable companies from turning the Internet into their private domain.
Yesterday's vote is a milestone in our campaign. It would have been unthinkable just four weeks ago - when we lost a vote on Net Neutrality in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
In the weeks since that first vote, we have ignited a prairie fire across America. And Washington is beginning to feel the heat:

More than 700 groups from all 50 states are now a part of the Coalition - a diverse list that includes, the Christian Coalition, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Consumers Union and the American Library Association A-list musicians such as REM, Moby, The Roots and the Dixie Chicks have joined the coalition with many more to be announced soon.

Major U.S. newspapers have written editorials supporting our position. More than 5,000 bloggers have linked to the Web site and blog - urging their readers to take action on this issue. And yesterday, the Coalition's petition drive surpassed 750,000 signatures. With little money and through the efforts of many, we have turned momentum against a handful of phone and cable giants that are spending untold millions of dollars to squash Internet freedom. But there is more work to do.

The full House will take up the bipartisan Judiciary bill in June. The Senate is also considering legislation that currently fails to protect Net Neutrality, though a bipartisan group of Senators are lining up behind an excellent bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota).

Stay tuned. Also read more on Wired - for an interesting story.