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Rep. Edwards Urges Peers to Sign Net Neutrality Petition

WASHINGTON, January 28, 2010 – Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland sent a letter to her colleagues on Wednesday urging them to sign a petition supporting the principles of network neutrality.

Broadband Breakfast Staff



WASHINGTON, January 28, 2010 - Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland sent a letter to her colleagues on Wednesday urging them to sign a petition supporting the principles of network neutrality.

“The rulemaking process is an unprecedented opportunity to protect and promote consumer choice, competition, and innovation on the Internet,” she wrote to her peers, adding that without the “open flow of information on the Internet much of the progress in the 20th and 21st centuries would never have taken place.”

In the letter, she noted that the FCC closed its initial public comment period concerning proposed rules regarding network neutrality but the agency is accepting reply comments through Mar. 5.

In a petition addressed to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Edwards says “we cannot allow the Internet to become a commercial pay-for-play media system. An Internet without net neutrality will hamper economic growth and will serve as a barrier to the free flow of information.”

She urges her peers to agree that the FCC “must act decisively, putting the public interest first and not giving in to lobbying pressure of the telecom and cable industries.”

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  1. Avatar

    Brett Glass

    January 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    What Rep. Edwards fails to mention is that supporting “network neutrality” regulation would be giving in to the lobbying pressure of large corporations such as Google, which is funding virtually all of the lobbyists for that regulation in DC. She also fails to mention that the proposed regulation addresses a putative “problem” which in reality does not exist, would destroy businesses and jobs, would harm economic recovery, and would hobble competition and innovation. It would also harm consumers by explicitly forbidding the broadband service plans that they prefer. And it would harm the poor and minorities by raising the price of broadband and hindering deployment. My employees come to work every day worrying that they’ll lose their jobs due to this regulation, and my customers are worried that they’ll lose their broadband, or have to pay more for broadband, because of it. Are these things that any politician, especially a Democrat, should be advocating?

  2. Avatar


    January 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Brett, the Comcast slapdown re bittorrent files, Verizon’s discrimination against NARAL text messages, and AT&T’s Pearl Jam fiasco proves the problem does exist. And AT&T spent more on infrastructure after the merger when the net neutrality restriction was in place, than before.

    I feel for ya, guy, I know you’re getting squeezed by the big players, but spinning the info the way you do is not making you friends, especially when you pull out the “harm the poor and minorities” card, given the redlining that most, if not all, broadband providers currently are doing in their broadband buildout regardless of whether net neutrality is the law of the land. Not only that, but Google pays plenty for their bandwidth already. I am no friend of Google, but sheesh, AT&T and Verizon are way more worrisome, given their track record with facilitating the trashing of the US Constitution by aiding and abetting in warrantless wiretaps.

    I applaud Rep. Edwards’s efforts.

  3. Avatar

    Maureen Goldman

    January 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I too applaud Rep. Edwards efforts. I am troubled by such outrageous claims that Net Neuutrality would prevent consumers from choosing the paln they prefer. Comcast, AT&T, Verizon Time Warner & Qwest pour billions into Astroturf organizations whose only pupose is to spread misinformation.
    The phone and cable companies that control access to the Internet for most Americans want to get rid of Net Neutrality, the rule that prevents them from discriminating against online content. They want to become the Internet’s gatekeepers, deciding which sites go fast or slow and which won’t load at all — based on who pays them the most.
    A national broadband plan would protect Internet freedom and foster competition by bringing new providers into the marketplace, driving economic growth and innovation, and bringing universal, affordable broadband access to all Americans
    I think of it this way – if I want to watch LinkTV I have to subscribe to DirecTV. If I want to watch ESPN Classic – I have to subscribe to Comcast. Is this how we wnat the internet to be run? Free access to any & all content for all people is the very bedrock of democracy.

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