Broadband/Cable

Net neutrality debate lingers in senate

Summary:

A controversial telecommunications bill that has raised the issue of whether high-speed Internet providers should be able to charge premium rates has made its way out of a Senate committee, but its future in the full body is less than certain.

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Internet `tubes' speech turns spotlight, ridicule onto Sen. Stevens

Summary:

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is enduring no end of ridicule in the blogosphere for his recent explanation, in a Commerce Committee debate, of how the Internet works.

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Local governments want to change senate telecom bill

Summary:

Top local government organizations want changes to a Senate telecommunications bill or they plan to oppose the measure if it ever reaches the Senate floor.

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Maryland county 'stunned' by Verizon suit

Summary:

The Montgomery County (Maryland) Council has fired back at Verizon in the wake of the telco's lawsuit charging the county with "unreasonable and illegal" demands in ongoing franchise contract negotiations.

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Google: champion of net neutrality?

Summary:

With deep pockets (Google has about $3 billion in cash, and a business that keeps throwing off cash as each quarter rolls by) and a vested interest in keeping access to the Internet and the speed of information packet sharing neutral, Google could end up being the champion of net neutrality.

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Representatives should fix the cable industry, not just intervene in Nationals broadcasts

Summary:

Last week, two U.S. House members from Virginia asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay approving a merger between cable television companies Adelphia Communications Corp. and Comcast Corp.

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Net neutrality = net equality

Summary:

THE U.S. Senate still has a chance to ensure that the Internet remains universally accessible and a powerful tool for consumers and businesses. This will only happen if lawmakers ensure computer network neutrality.

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New York to examine creating citywide broadband network

Summary:

New York City intends to study whether to establish a citywide broadband network similar to those planned by cities like Philadelphia and San Francisco.

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Dems adopt net neutrality

Summary:

The US Democratic party has adopted net-neutrality as a party-political issue following the rejection of a second pro-neutrality amendment in a vote late last week.

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Massive telecom bill continues uncertain progress through Senate

Summary:

UPDATE: Senator Stevens has been unable to assemble enough support for his bill to rush it through before the August recess. This in itself is a victory, and it gives Net Neutrality supporters more time to convince our Senators that without net neutrality language, this bill must be stopped. Stevens has introduced a new version of the bill, still leaving out meaningful net neutrality protections.

The Senate's version of massive new telecommunications legislation is headed to the full Senate, after a flurry of amendments and contentious debate in the Commerce Committee. The House passed its own bill on June 8. Media democracy advocates, media producers, technology companies and Internet libertarians opposed to the bill's passage then looked to the full Senate in hopes that the bill could be substantively improved or, if not, killed.

The proposed legislation has gathered such broad interest because of the potential severity of its effects on mediaand communications technology in the United State. Both House and Senate bills would change the very nature of the Internet, and seriously undermine public accountability over cable and video services, including educational and community TV. While claiming to clear the way for new innovations in broadband access, the bills would likely retard important avenues for Internet innovation and deployment. They would mean the end of the free, open Internet characterized by "net neutrality" or equality of access. The bills would also seriously harm community TV by taking away the authority of local governments to negotiate franchises with cable/video providers (House bill), or by forcing local governments to fast-track franchise requests (Senate bill). Finally, both bills would extend the digital divide by failing to ban "redlining" or discriminatory deployment of new broadband services.

While the Senate bill now includes good provisions (such as the expansion of Low-Power FM radio) as well as bad, the bill remains an overall stinker in its present form. An amendment adding Net Neutrality protections barely failed on an 11-11 committee vote, setting the stage for a Senate floor battle over the issue later this year. As Congressional GOP leadership has indicated their willingness to use procedural trickery to shape the bill to their liking no matter what the Senate votes for, media democracy advocates' message to the Senate is now kill this bill. If citizens continue to exert pressure on our Senators, we can win this battle!

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey