House Leaders Call on FCC to Protect the Open Internet

Net Neutrality August 16th, 2010

, Deputy Editor,

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2010 – Democratic Representatives Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Anna G. Eshoo of California, Jay Inslee of Washington and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania urged that the Federal Communications Commission weigh in to preserve an open internet.

The letter they sent  is a direct response to the recent Google-Verizon announcement that provides exceptions to the principle of network neutrality, or the notion that internet service should not be prioritized based on competitive advantage.

In a statement about the letter Doyle said, in part, “The power of the Internet comes from the ability of everyone to find anything anywhere – or to put anything on it for the world to see. The internet’s value comes from the fact that it’s not like any other communications platform before it. I am concerned that the proposal put forward by Google and Verizon could have the effect of choking off much of the most important, creative, and valuable contributions the Internet can make to the idea-driven economy of the 21st century.”

The representatives bemoaned the possible separation of wireless from any new rules. “Exclusion of wireless services from open internet requirements could widen the digital divide by establishing a substandard, less open experience for traditionally underserved regions and demographic groups that may more often need to access or choose to access the internet on a mobile device.”

Additionally, the group warned that the use of “managed services” can lead to current services simply being rebranded. “Managed services might be rebranded or repackaged services and applications – only with priority treatment not available to competitors. By undermining competition and the value of the open Internet, managed services could have significantly negative consequences for consumers and commercial enterprises.”

Eshoo also commented that, “In my Silicon Valley district there are people building the next generation of internet breakthroughs. We cannot undermine their success by ‘cable-izing’ the Internet. That’s why my colleagues and I remain steadfast in our commitment to net neutrality.”

The full letter can be found here.

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