After the Net Neutrality Vote
After the Net Neutrality Vote
After the Net Neutrality Vote

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    If you haven't caught up with the news, the House firmly rejected the concept of Net Neutrality last night. The vote was 269-152. Here's the roll call.

    PK issued a release in which Gigi said:

    The following statement is attributable to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

    “It is a shame that the House turned its back on the open essence of the Internet. Instead, the House ignored the arguments of consumers, technology companies and interest groups from across the political spectrum and voted to allow the telephone and cable companies to discriminate by controlling the content that will flow over the network and to assess whatever additional fees the telephone and cable companies want to charge on top of normal access rates.

    “The House has rushed to pass HR 5252 at the urging of the telephone and cable companies, who feared the growing public support for an enforceable net neutrality law. With the defeat of the Markey amendment, the House bill will have no meaningful protections for consumers or service providers against the discriminatory practices that the telephone and cable companies will employ to favor their own content and services. Today's Internet, which gives consumers control over what applications, services and content they want to access, will be replaced by an Internet that looks like a cable system — where network providers determine who gets on and at what price.”

    Given the history, the chances of winning were slim from the start in the House. In the 1996 Telecom Act, even the old AT&T and MCI couldn't stop the Bells from getting what they wanted. In 2002, the House passed legislation (the so-called Tauzin-Dingell bill) so overwhelmingly in favor of the Bells that it never went farther, although the Federal Communications Commission ended up enacting many of the same policies anyway as it freed the Bells from requirements that they share lines with competitors.

    We hope that those who support a free and open Internet will regroup and make certain the Senate knows how important this is. This means not only those of us here in D.C., but everyone, everywhere. To many politicians, an abstract email petition, even if has 800,000 names, has no meaning. But if their town meetings back home are attended by people who don't want to give up the Internet, and if local business people bring up the topic during meetings and events, the message will start to get through.