Saturday, April 22, 2006

SavetheInternet Coalition

[New US coalition to defend the Open Internet]

The Coalition is a group of grassroots organizations, bloggers and concerned citizens that are banding together to protect a free and open Internet.

The Coalition believes that the Internet is a crucial engine for economic growth and democratic discourse. We are working together to urge Congress to take steps now to preserve network neutrality, the First Amendment for the Internet that ensures that the Internet remains open to innovation and progress.

From its beginnings, the Internet has leveled the playing field for all comers. Everyday people can have their voices heard by thousands, even millions of people. The Coalition — representing millions of Americans from all walks of life — is working together to ensure that Congress passes no telecommunications legislation without meaningful and enforceable network neutrality requirements.

[Announcement of new coalition]

Cerf’s Up in Telco Tussle
From Broadcasting & Cable, April 21, 2006
By John Eggerton

The coalition wants particularly to turn a spotlight on lobbying campaigns by AT&T and Verizon on the bill, which they say are intended to “gut” network neutrality.

Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, gun owners, librarians, and consumer groups are (broad)banding together to push for Internet neutrality protections in legislation rewriting the 1996 Telecommunications Act to reflect the government’s compelling interest in speeding the rollout of high-speed Internet service.

Monday, they will announce the formation of the SavetheInternet.Com Coalition in advance of a planned markup of the bill Wednesday in the House Commerce Committee.

The bill passed out of the Telecommunications Subcommittee with strong bipartisan support (27-4), although some legislators expressed concerns that protections against discrimination in Internet access service were not explicit enough and that the FCC did not have enough power to enforce them.

The bill contained authority for the FCC to punish violators of its broad Internet nondiscrimination principles with $500,000 fines, but the authority is only to adjudicate complaints, not to establish regulations mandating network neutrality. An amendment that would have established that authority was defeated soundly as well (23-8).

Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Tex.) argued that since noone could even come up with a consistent definition of network neutrality, it was better to simply support it generally, and let the FCC, the agency with the expertise, determine violations on a case-by-case basis.

The coalition wants particularly to turn a spotlight on lobbying campaigns by AT&T and Verizon on the bill, which they say are intended to “gut” network neutrality.


sdfsdfsdf said...

It's awsome to see people involved with keeping the internet free of corporate chains! Feel free to visit and comment on my blog and refeer it to all your friends! (yes, yes I am desperate for users)

JohnRWilson said...

Hi draegoon-

I notice the website now says,

"Bloggers Unite and Take Fight to the Hill- As of this morning, more than 1,500 blogs have taken up the cause, posting links to or urging their readers to take action by calling on... Posted April 28, 2006"