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The situation regarding the FCC’s ineptitude over net neutrality has been making headlines lately, with the commission having essentially capitulated to the lobbyists employed by ISPs and preparing to allow them to charge more for better access. Two lawmakers in Washington, D.C., however, have proposed legislation that could preserve net neutrality – if it manages to gin up enough support in the House and Senate, that is.

According to a report in the Washington Post, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Represenative Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) have proposed the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, which could give the FCC the power it needs to stop ISPs from creating fast lanes and slow lanes. As it stands, companies like Comcast and Time Warner are looking to charge a premium to content providers for getting their websites to consumers more quickly, potentially leaving smaller companies that can’t pay the high prices in the dust.

Said Senator Leahy on the issue:

“Americans are speaking loud and clear. They want an Internet that is a platform for free expression and innovation, where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider.”

Added Representative Matsui:

“A free and open Internet is essential for consumers. Our country cannot afford ‘pay-for-play’ schemes that divide our Internet into tiers based on who has the deepest pockets.”

The Post points out that this issue has been divided largely along party lines, meaning that the legislation is unlikely to find support on the other side of the aisle.

What that means, though, is that it’s incumbent on citizens to write to, email, and call their senators and representatives to let them know that they support this legislation, or something similar. In short, when we let ISPs dictate who can provide content based on who can pay the most, citizens and consumers lose.

[Source: Washington Post]


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