Friday, May 26, 2006

Another Big Step In Fighting For Network Neutrality

In addition to the surprise news that the IRS will cease collection of the Federal Excise Tax, yesterday also brought a great step in the fight for Network Neutrality. The major telecommunications companies have been quietly lobbying Congress to write new legislation that would allow them to charge websites a fee in order to allow for faster connection through individual internet service providers. It would essentially allow big telecom companies to extort money from successful and popular websites in return for user access to those sites. Sites like Google, Amazon and eBay would have to pay millions of dollars or risk being relegated to slow connection speeds while "sponsored" competitors would enjoy smooth and easy accessibility.

Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a Net Neutrality bill that would keep such extortion illegal. This does not mean the fight is over. The bill now has to be debated by the full House and Senate before it can be passed, but a major hurdle has been crossed. So keep checking out the news and contact your Congressional Representatives and Senators. Internet commerce is too important to the future of our country and the world for it to be put into the hands of the telecommunications industry.

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