Save the Internet and Community Television

The House and the Senate are considering major telecommunications bills which would demolish the principle of ‘network neutrality,’ or Internet freedom of choice. The House of Representatives’ COPE Act (HR 5262, expected to come to a vote in early June) and a Senate bill introduced by Ted Stevens, would allow Internet providers to control our Internet traffic to an unprecedented degree - limiting online consumer choices and reserving the right to block or slow down any site at will.

The Telecom companies that stand to gain from these bills are spending millions on an information war, with fake grassroots campaigns (like “handsoff.org”) and amateur-looking blog ads designed to confuse citizens and our representatives. Don’t be fooled! Here’s some of what could happen if these bills become law:

• Parents and children enter a world where the Internet becomes ever more highly commercialized, and where the price of access skyrockets despite increased ‘competition.’

• Ipod users find that their ISP slows down access to their favorite source for music/video downloads, directing them instead to a favored rival company.

• Small businesses have fewer choices for telephone, TV and online services, as the business giants bundle products and shut out small competitors.

• Citiizen journalists are unable to make full, free use of available technology

TAKE ACTION!

1. Click here to send a message to your Congressional Representatives! Or, call them at the phone numbers below and tell them: to vote NO on the COPE bill (HR5252), and to support the Sensenbrenner/Conyers bill (HR5417) protecting network neutrality. You cam also send a message online at saveaccess.org"> or savetheinternet.com. Here's Congressional contact info for Washington State:

Brian Baird (202) 225-3536
Norm Dicks (202) 225-5916
Doc Hastings (202) 225-5816
Jay Inslee (202) 225-6311
Rick Larsen (202) 225-2605
Jim McDermott (202) 225-3106
Cathy McMorris (202) 225-2006
Dave Reichert (202) 225-7761
Adam Smith (202) 225-8901

2. Click here to send a message to Senator Cantwell! Or, call her office at 202-224-3441, and tell her that the Stevens Telecom bill must be amended to include network neutrality protections.

Senator Maria Cantwell has been a supporter of media democracy issues in the past, but she has not yet taken a stand in favor of Net Neutrality legislation. It’s our job to convince her that this is a crucial issue for her constituents.

3. Tell your family and friends to take the same actions!

This is a fight we can win, but only if we show our support now, loud and
clear. Take action now!

article originally published at .

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