[NetBehaviour] Defeat for net neutrality backers.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Fri Jun 9 14:12:47 CEST 2006
Defeat for net neutrality backers.
US politicians have rejected attempts to enshrine the principle of net
neutrality in legislation.
Some fear the decision will mean net providers start deciding on behalf
of customers which websites and services they can visit and use. The
vote is a defeat for Google, eBay and Amazon which wanted the net
neutrality principle protected by law. All three mounted vigorous
lobbying campaigns prior to the vote in the House of Representatives.
The rejection of the principle of net neutrality came during a debate on
the wide-ranging Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement
Act (Cope Act). Among other things, this aims to make it easier for
telecoms firms to offer video services around America by replacing
30,000 local franchise boards with a national system overseen by the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Representative Fred Upton, head of the House telecommunications
subcommittee, said competition could mean people save $30 to $40 each
month on their net access fees. An amendment to the Act tried to add
clauses that would demand net service firms treat equally all the data
passing through their cables.
The amendment was thought to be needed after the FCC ripped up its rules
that guaranteed net neutrality.
During the debate House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, said that
without the amendment "telecommunications and cable companies will be
able to create toll lanes on the information superhighway".
"This strikes at the heart of the free and equal nature of the
internet," she added.
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