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Congress to Vote on Internet Regulation

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Congress to Vote on Internet Regulation

Future of Internet, Consumer Choice at Risk

Washington, D.C., June 8, 2006—Congress is scheduled to vote on a plan for putting the federal government in charge of regulating Internet traffic, a plan that will restrict consumer choice and freedom.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

The plan, to be introduced as amendments to the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006, would prohibit Internet Service providers—the owners and developers of the net’s infrastructure—from charging different prices for different levels of service.  The plan would also prevent individuals and organizations from setting up private networks and screening out content they deem objectionable.

 

“Net neutrality may sound like a good idea, but the plan cooked up by Congress is anything but neutral or fair,” said Peter Suderman, a Competitive Enterprise Institute analyst.

 

Web Content providers, such as Google, eBay and Amazon, have supported government mandates to avoid increased rates when they roll out more demanding services, like high definition video.

 

But Internet service providers (ISPs) envision an Internet where, for an additional fee, Net traffic from some sites could have enhanced access to fast-track lanes for content that requires priority access.  Thus, opposing net neutrality isn't a scheme to limit opportunities online; it's essential for expanding those opportunities.

 

“Mandating ‘net neutrality’ would be like government prohibiting air travelers from buying first-class seats,” said Suderman.  “Relegating everyone to coach seats would have a significant impact on commerce, property rights, and consumer choice.

 

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