The Internet is credited with enabling possibilities unimagined a generation ago. It has lowered the cost of launching a new idea, ignited new political movements, brought communities closer together, and has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known. One reason for its success is that all Internet traffic is treated equally, giving each user the opportunity to be seen and heard. Net neutrality refers to the concept that an open Internet allows for all websites, both large and small, to have the same speed and access to customers and audiences regardless of content, application or platform. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon want to prioritize Web traffic by reserving the fastest loading speeds for those paying the highest access fees, relegating all other content to a slower tier of service. Critics say these fees would destroy an open Internet by severely limiting the ability of small websites to communicate with the people they need to reach, and stack the odds against the success of startup ventures. They say ISPs could also block content and speech they donâ€™t like, and reject apps that compete with their own offerings.
Opponents of net neutrality say recent studies show Netflix and You Tube now consume 50% of the total Internet bandwidth, and warn this disproportionate usage will only increase as similar services propagate. They claim if large data users continue to consume more and more bandwidth, consumer Internet costs will increase and their access, speed and performance will decrease. They claim regulation is preferable to neutrality, saying rules could be enacted to prevent IPS abuse and a complaint resolution process could be established for consumers and small businesses. They wish to allow providers to offer faster speeds to large data users and charge accordingly, while providing a basic level of acceptable service to those not paying a premium price.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is now completing new regulations for broadband service providers. More than 4 million Americans have submitted public comments during this process, the vast majority of which are in favor of keeping an open, neutral Internet. To ensure net neutrality, President Obama has recently asked the FCC to include rules which prohibit a broadband provider from blocking users from viewing legal websites, or intentionally slowing down or speeding up content based on a type of service or an ISPâ€™s preferences. He also wants to ensure the points of interconnection between the ISP and consumers are transparent, and to ban paid prioritization by Broadband providers.
Pending Legislation: None
I oppose reforming current net neutrality policy
I support net neutrality and wish to identify a legislator who will sponsor a bill to prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking legal websites; intentionally slowing down or speeding up content based on a type of service or an ISPâ€™s preferences; banning paid prioritization of services by Broadband providers; and ensuring transparency in the points of interconnection between the ISP and consumers