Friday, June 09, 2006

network neutrality defeated by republican whores, with help from democratic whores. god i fucking hate congress.


Net Neutrality shouldn't be a partisan issue. There should be Republicans who see the value in having a free and open Internet. But unfortunately, that's not happening. A grand total of 11 voted with Markey, who championed Net Neutrality along with Reps. Rick Boucher, Anna Eshoo, Jay Inslee and John Dingell.

More disturbing for TPM readers, however, should be that 58 Democrats sold out the Internet. You can see the vote results here. We know Democrats are not a monolithic party, but this was ridiculous. And not only did they flock to vote with the Bells, many of them signed on as cosponsors of the telecom bill (HR 5252).

With all of that support, the Bells, and the cable companies, got everything they asked for. Bells get streamlined entry into the cable business. Cable gets out of much of its obligations to renew local franchises. And neither has to worry about keeping the Internet open. This result can come about because there are no penalties for voting against the Bells. Neither the corporate backers of Net Neutrality, nor the enthusiastic but diffuse public who supports it are yet in any position to wield the political power to change a politician's mind. That will have to change.

Does it surprise anyone that most of the Democrats tried to keep equal access available to everyone, while all but 11 of the Republicans did everything they could to ensure that a few hand-picked corporations can ruin the Internets?

Next up is the Senate, where I understand we have a better chance of protecting network neutrality, but only if we seriously commit to putting pressure on our senators:

The Bells control the inside game. They spent millions on TV ads, newspaper ads and, most important of all, lobbyists. Bell lobbyists are on the Hill every day, in every office of every member of Congress and Senator. Contrasted with that up-close-and-personal presence, an email petition with 800,000 names has no significance whatsoever. It is an abstraction. Sad, but true.

We can blog forever, and it won't make a difference, except as a vehicle to informing those who want to read about these important issues. If you want to make your voice heard, you have to do it in person. Not everyone can come to Washington, but every politician has to go home. You should find out when your House member or Senator has a town meeting and attend. Or schedule a meeting with a group of friends. Put Net Neutrality on the agenda, whether the politicians want it there or not.


Blogger leathej1 said...

This is really ridiculous if you look at the votes by state. My rep is the Aye region around Albany, NY. It looks like nobody else got it except for the coasts. Is there some seabreeze effect here?

4:12 AM  
Blogger wayne said...

I'm not seeing the problem.

I'm reading the bill, and all i'm getting from it so far is that the national providers are going to have to abide by the same rules as the local providers, there won't be any more locking out companies from serving areas. This has been a problem here... The provider here is a monopoly, and their rates have doubled in recent years. We are not allowed to get service from their competition, unless we want to go satellite, which is even more expensive.

It also prohibits "Bundled" deals as mandatory for service. Presently, we cannot get internet access from our provider without having cble service. This bill would allow us to drop cable (which we REALLY want to do) and keep our internet connection. The only problem is that there is nothing in the language that stops them from charging the same price we're paying now after we drop the part we don't want.

7:38 AM  
Blogger leathej1 said...

It's what is missing that is of concern, principly, language that would prevent a multi-tiered ISP bandwidth environment. You see, opening these franchise options to telecoms without this language is an invitation to do just that, as their logical next step.

3:40 AM  

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