Group Claims Million Pro-Net Neutrality E-Mails


The flood of network neutrality-related activity in Washington continued apace Wednesday. In addition to a Senate Judiciary Committee on the issue, there were the one million e-mails said it delivered to Congress in support of strong network-neutrality language in a proposed telcom-reform bill.

Network neutrality is the issue of nondiscrimination in the provision of Internet access, and has come to dominate the debates over the telecommunications reg/video franchise reform revamp underway in Congress.

The coalition includes, one of the most effective e-mail generators among the anti-big media activist groups.

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) were on hand, according to the group, to lend their support. The two had co-sponsored a bill with strong network neutrality protection provisions that they hope to amend to the Senate version of telecom reform, which is being amended in the Senate Commerce Committee June 22.

It is already expected to have somewhat tougher language than its current directive to the FCC to study the issue, but not likely strong enough to please the pair.

The coalition said the Dorgan/Snowe bill would "bar companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from blocking, degrading or interfering with content or services on the Internet."

Those companies counter that it is premature to legislate a solution to a problem they say does not exist, and that too tight a rein on networks flexibility in pricing and service would prevent them from getting a return on their billions in capitol investment in network build-outs and discourage future build-out contrary to the government's stated interest in spurring that build-out.