For Immediate Release
Earlier this evening, the House defeated the Markey amendment to telecommunications legislation (HR 5252).
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.
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