Telcos buying legislation to screw you and me

I’m on the road to Chicago again, so I’ll likely not be blogging much until Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, there’s a House hearing tomorrow on a new bill that gives the Telcos what they want and will alter the way the internet is used by allowing them to divide bandwidth into a haves and have-nots system. By refusing to spell out net neutrality, this bill gives that authority to, of all people, the FCC and sticks a screw you finger in the eyes of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Declan McCullagh writes for CNet News:

A November draft of Barton’s (Republican Joe Barton of Texas) bill (click here for PDF) explicitly said broadband providers “may not block, or unreasonably impair or interfere with” Internet access. The final version (PDF), on the other hand, simply gives the Federal Communications Commission the authority to set rules and publish violations.

Barton released the text of the bill (the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act) Monday and scheduled a hearing for tomorrow. A vote could come as early as next week. Why the hurry? Because that’s the way flimflammery works.

Despite all the nice rhetoric about the Telcos needing to recoup their costs, the reality is that this legislation has been bought and paid for by Telco profits, and the only thing it guarantees is the furtherance of that. Call or email your Representatives and tell them you want net neutrality spelled out in the bill.

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