Rep. Charles "Chip" Pickering, a Mississippi Republican who co-sponsored the House's broadband bill, defended his committee's proposal in a luncheon speech to summit participants. He noted that politicians are "still wrestling" with the best way to address Net neutrality but conceded that election-year politics might trump major changes to the existing bill.
With the Republican Party in "survival mode" leading up to the fall elections, committee leaders have attempted to "pare something down that we can actually move so we can have accomplishments, so we can continue in the majority," Pickering said.
But the GOP is on the verge of handling the keys to the Internet to the Telcos, and turn the web into a 24/7 controlled access network, where Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast will determine what web sites you can access, what email you can receive, and what you can say on your website.
In short, the Republicans are on the verge of allowing these large companies to virtually "own" the Internet. Now, a little history. The Internet was developed by U.S. taxpayers through the military (DARPA) and the NSF. The current standards that make up the Internet (TCP/IP, HTTP, XML, SMTP) are all international, open standards. No one owns these, rather, they are all in the public domain. The Internet, and the Web, were designed to be neutral, international, and owned by no one.
Rep. John Dingell, the committee's senior Democrat, is still evaluating the best legislative approach but is "deeply concerned" about the potential for extra fees being imposed on Internet content and application providers and the subsequent effect on consumers, Shelton said.
Plainly said, Dingell knows that this bill will guarantee that you'll be able to get foxnews.com on your browser, while dailykos.com might not work so well, or be totally blocked.
Network operators say they deserve the right to charge premium fees to bandwidth hogs in order to offset their vast investments in infrastructure and to ensure the quality and security of their products. Internet companies and consumer groups counter that they already pay vast amounts to broadband providers to deliver content and that the new business model network operators are proposing would force them to pay twice.
Hmmm, so if a site like Dailykos or Crooks and Liars has a lot of traffic, we should pay more to access them. Yeah, that's the ticket to democracy.
So do you still think this IS NOT a GOP strategy for control over what you can say?
Proponents of Net neutrality, which critics charge has no clear definition, would like to see detailed regulations barring what they decry as threats to the Internet's open architecture. So far, they have won over some congressional Democrats but made less headway on the other side of the aisle.
What to do? Support Inoyue for a start. Light a fire under your reps. Don't sit and let the GOP ride roughshod over this vital resource.
The Senate's current language isn't set in stone, and Stevens will continue to work with Inouye and other committee members to develop a consensus, Sutherland added.
http://news.com.com/... Go here to sign up and check how your rep voted: http://www.savetheinternet.com/