Net Neutrality Finds Bipartisan Support - InformationWeek

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5/19/2006
04:57 PM
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Net Neutrality Finds Bipartisan Support

Both Democrats and Republicans are backing bills supporting net neutrality, while telecommunications companies are lobbying to be permitted to offer tiered access.

Amazon.com, eBay, Google, IAC/InterActiveCorp, Microsoft and Yahoo! issued a news release in support of the bill.

"The bill is particularly important and timely as another piece of legislation is making its way through the House that would achieve the opposite effect, deliberately impeding enforcement of discriminatory practices and preventing the establishment of consumer safeguards against them," the joint release stated.

Grammy-nominated musician Moby also released a statement as one of 600 groups in the SaveTheInternet campaign, which has gained support from about 700,000 petitioners in a matter of weeks.

"If Congress guts net neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T, he said. "We need to stand up for Internet freedom now."

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, introduced a net neutrality amendment to the Communications Opportunity, Promotions and Enhancement Act of 2006 in the Telecommunications Subcommittee last month. Net neutrality supporters seemed to gain momentum in their online campaign just before its defeat. Markey, who met with Moby for a news conference Thursday, said the Sensenbrenner bill shows that the effort is bipartisan and building. "I welcome their concern and energy as we try to save the Internet as we know it," he said.

Senators Olympia Snowe, a Maine Republican, Byron Dorgan a North Dakota Democrat, and Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat introduced another net neutrality bill in the Senate Friday afternoon.

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