Net Neutrality is Worth Preserving!

Telecoms, like AT&T and Verizon, want to create a two-tiered Internet where customers and content providers can be charged for premium content delivery at higher speeds and quality than other content. The harshest critics believe that ability will give ISPs the ability to block, slow, or degrade content unfavorable to them, including access to websites and email. Web Pro News reported on this today.

The Markey Amendment, proposed for addition to the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE), was created to protect what proponents call “Network Neutrality,” a philosophy that the Internet should remain free and open to encourage innovation, startup business, and free speech. Called the “Internet’s First Amendment,” this concept is supported by Internet and technology giants like Google and Microsoft.

The amendment expressly warned the telecom industry ” not to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access, use, send, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services over the Internet.” It was voted down by a vote of 34-22 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“The House vote today ignores a groundswell of popular support for Internet freedom,” said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press. “We hope that the full House will resist the big telecom companies and reject the bill. But we look to the Senate to restore meaningful protections for net neutrality and ensure that the Internet remains open to unlimited economic innovation, civic involvement and free speech.”