Net Neutrality Awareness and Lobbying Grows

18 Mar ’06

CNet covers the surprising news that AARP is entering the neutrality debate on the pro side. And just yesterday, strategic communications and grassroots company Qorvis Communications forwarded me a copy of a letter on neutrality sent by a broad coalition of 70 Internet consumers, content providers, service, device and application companies to the Chairs of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The list of coalition members is a who’s who of corporate America. Perhaps this is only surprising to me, but the sophistication of lobbying on the pro side is gratifying. Gist of the letter:

The open architecture of the Internet has always let providers, as well as individual innovators, share, offer and create the content, devices, applications, and services that the marketplace desires. Consumers in the marketplace, and not network operators, should decide what content and services succeed or fail. The end-to-end design of the Internet was made possible by the non-discriminatory framework that has long been the bedrock of U.S. telecommunications policy. It is this framework that has prevented gatekeepers on the Internet and guaranteed the innovation and economic success that has driven the American economy over the past decade.

While it is appropriate for Congress to develop new legislation to promote competition among broadband networks, it must also ensure that consumers and providers continue to have the right to use those networks to send and receive content, and to use applications and services, without interference by network operators. As Internet pioneer Vint Cerf said, the Internet is, and must remain, ‘innovation without permission”.

We stand ready to work with you to pass legislation that will continue the successful legal policies that are essential to allowing the broadband Internet to thrive.

More on the story from IP Democracy.

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