Yesterday I posted that Obama had appointed some strong proponents of Net Neutrality to his transition team to oversee the FCC. Now we find out that another Democrat is working to bring actual Net Neutrality into law:
A lawmaker is bringing the issue of net neutrality back into the spotlight. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) plans to introduce a bill in January that would stop Internet service providers from blocking and managing certain Internet content.
The planned legislation follows a long battle between the Federal Communications Commission and cable-TV and Internet service provider Comcast. It would have the Internet Freedom Preservation Act bar cable and telephone companies from being Internet “gatekeepers” and keep the Internet open and free, according to Dorgan, who has introduced previous bills on net neutrality.
“He was the lead sponsor of net-neutrality bills for this session of Congress, which is about to end, and he will be introducing a bill in the next session of Congress,” said Justin Kitsche, a spokesperson for Dorgan’s office.
Of course the all powerful telecom industry is gearing up it’s opposition to the possibility of this new law:
“We don’t believe legislation is necessary in this area and could harm innovation and investments,” said Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast’s senior director of government affairs and corporate communications, in a phone interview. “We have consistently said that all our customers have access to content available on the Internet.”
Harm innovation is a good one. The U.S. has fallen way behind the rest of the developing world in terms of internet access and speed. Are they saying that this legislation would take us back to the day of acoustic coupler modems? I doubt that. Instead of fighting this, the telecom industry should focus on ways to bring broadband to the entire nation, and increase our network speed and reliability. We need to start thinking in a 21st century mind.