Net Neutrality Links
I’m adding this link to the Net Neutrality Page.
What isnÃ¢â¬â¢t yet known is who will chair the pivotal Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee. If itÃ¢â¬â¢s Ed Markey (D-Mass.), then you have a strong Bell opponent, strong Net Neutrality proponent and some momentum. But, Markey has a lot of options. He could try for the chairmanship of the full Resources Committee, and he also has seniority on the Homeland Security committee.
Depending on what Markey does, the Telecom Subcommittee could be led by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.). Boucher, like Markey, is a strong Net Neutrality proponent. But unlike Markey and very much like Dingell, Boucher tends to favor the Bell companies on many other issues.
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With some positive Net Neutrality leadership in place, then the question becomes, what would be in any overall telecom legislation, and there the picture gets lots more murky. LetÃ¢â¬â¢s start with video franchising. This is the concept behind the BellsÃ¢â¬â¢ push for a bill this year. They want to get into the cable business, providing TV programming over their fast networks, and they donÃ¢â¬â¢t want to negotiate with 30,000 local authorities to get permission as the real cable providers had to do. So the Bells pushed the bill that gave them, and cable, a free pass nationally to enter cable business, pushing aside objections from local governments.
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Remember, the Bells still have a lot of friends and a lot of votes in Congress, whether on Net Neutrality or not. There are many legislators of both parties, on the relevant committees or not, who will vote the Bell line regardless. Net Neutrality isnÃ¢â¬â¢t a slam dunk. The key will be how much the Bells will be willing to deal. They didnÃ¢â¬â¢t feel the need in the last session of Congress. Now, with the leadership against them, they may have a different calculus, of trying to get the best bill they can.
By now, the Bells have realized how important Net Neutrality is to a great many people and organizations, ranging from large companies like Google and Yahoo, to public interest groups like Public Knowledge (my day-job employer), something they probably didnÃ¢â¬â¢t count on this year. If they try in good faith to negotiate a reasonable Net Neutrality provision next year, the Bells could gain some of their goals despite themselves.
Want to know what you can do?
MA Bell Monopoly Versus the Free Internet Ã¢â¬â Tell the FCC Net Neutrality Is Not Negotiable
–ME “Liz” Strauss
NET NEUTRALITY PAGE