The Net Neutrality debate is now front and center in the US Senate (well, when their not talking about Iraq) as Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) introduce the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. Dorgan didn’t stop with the floor of the Senate, he also took his case to YouTube.
A similar measure was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ed Markey (D. Mass.) last year. Though the bill was killed by Republican opposition, Net Neutrality was never a partisan issue, as the reintroduction of the issue into the Senate by a Democrat and Republican illustrate. The bill comes just two weeks after AT&T agreed to Net Neutrality concessions in order to have their merger with BellSouth approved by the Federal Communications Commission.
Though AT&T’s concession was considered a major victory and turning point for supporters of Net Neutrality, Republican FCC commissioners quickly accused Democrat commissioners of bulldogging the language into the merger agreement, and asserted the concessions were not binding in any way. Regardless, it is a public admission of the concept’s definition, and a boon to the cause.
The Dorgan-Snowe Act is the direct offspring of November’s Great Congress Cleanup. Dorgan and Snowe tried to push these measures forward in 2006, only to be bottled up in committee by detractors led by Sen. Ted Stevens (now known as Mr. Tubes, R-AK).
“The legislation is the first step towards a national policy that will ensure that all consumers, not just the most affluent, have affordable access to high-speed Internet services,” said Jeannine Kenney, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union.
Net, Neutrality, Bill, Senate, YouTube