The House Judiciary committe passed a net neutrality bill by a vote of 20-13, primarily because all 14 Democrats voted for the measure. The bill would make it illegal for providers to prioritize traffic based on payments by the content providers.
Predictably, the content providers, such as Google and Microsoft, are all in favor of this bill. The internet providers, on the other hand, are waging a war of hyperbole in denouncing the measure. Just read this statement from USTA president Walter McCormick. “The committee members understand that this misguided and reckless legislation could hamper investment and innovation and limit consumer choice”. I certainly believe that the telco’s attempts to charge large bandwidth users is attempting to charge them twice, but of course they have never gotten over their monopolistic tendencies from the past. And the internet has been as innovative as it has precisely because of the equal access that all content providers have been given. Let’s just call this what it is, and that is a money grab y the internet providers, specifically the telco’s.
There is already a competing bill passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is weker than that passed by Judiciary. That will have to be ironed out. There is still no guarantee that either bill will get a vote, and even less certain is whether either has the votes to pass.
Posted by Jeff