[NetBehaviour] Defeat for net neutrality backers.

marc 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.

Tier fear:

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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