Net Neutrality Roars Back Onto The Congressional Agenda

Net neutrality advocates led by Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) are working overtime to turn net neutrality into an election year issue. Markey, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, plans to introduce legislation later this month and push for hearings in both chambers. Could net neutrality actually make it through Congress this time?

Eh, not likely. Though ISPs have proven their desire to block BitTorrent, ban political text messages, and censor concert lyrics, Markey’s effort will keep the issue alive for Presidential contenders, rather than result in enacted law.

The leading Democratic presidential contenders — Hillary Clinton, John Edwards of North Carolina, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson — all have endorsed tougher neutrality safeguards to prevent broadband operators from potentially acting as content gatekeepers.

Details of the Markey bill were sketchy, but sources said the measure may be an updated version of the 11-page bill he introduced in May 2006 when broader Republican-backed telecom legislation was pending. Various ideas are being bandied about for the new iteration, including the possibility of mandating nationwide field hearings on the subject.

Congressman seeks to revive network neutrality debate [Technology Daily]
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