U.S. Senate committee rejects net neutrality proposal

“A US Senate committee on Wednesday, with a tie vote, rejected a proposal that would have required broadband providers to give their competitors the same speeds and quality of service as they give to themselves or their partners,” Grant Gross reports for Macworld UK.

“The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s 11-11 vote means the net neutrality amendment will not be added to a wide-ranging broadband bill as it goes to the Senate floor. The amendment would have prevented broadband providers such as AT&T and Comcast from charging extra based on the type of content transmitted by internet-based companies,” Gross reports. “The amendment would bring new regulation to the internet, committee Republicans argued.”

Gross reports, “The committee’s rejection of the proposal means the fight for net neutrality rules could be stalled for the year. Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved its own version of a broadband bill, but voted 269-152 to reject a net neutrality amendment.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nothing new to add on this, so here’s a replay: We don’t presume to know the best way to get there, but we support the concept of “Net Neutrality” especially as it pertains to preventing the idea of ISP’s blocking or otherwise impeding sites that don’t pay the ISP to ensure equal access. That said, we usually prefer the government to be hands-off wherever possible, Laissez-faire, except in cases where the free market obviously cannot adequately self-regulate (antitrust, for just one example). Regulations are static and the marketplace is fluid, so extensive regulations can have unintended, unforeseen results down the road. We sincerely hope that there are enough forces in place and/or that the balances adjust in such a manner as to keep the ‘Net neutral. What do you think?

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Related article:
House rejects H.R. 5252 Net neutrality amendment – June 09, 2006

47 Comments

  1. Big business rules the U.S. government – sad but true. Bleak times are ahead for the internets (hey, maybe George Bush can get us another one if the current internet goes to tiered service)

  2. …infrastructure providers should *not* be content providers — inherent conflict of interest over the question of who gets what types of access – blows up any notion of a level competive playing field in the vertical internet markets

  3. Red Dwarf, Cubert, Abe: Right on! Our government is owned lock, stock, and barrel by corporate and moneyed interests and nothing that works to the advantage of consumers and ordinary citizens is going to get through the Congress. Is revolution the only answer? Thomas Jefferson seemed to think so.

  4. Ok, I am a bit confused here, so please someone help me out on this.

    We live in a free market society and hate it when the Government (or sometimes referred to Big Brother) attempts to step in to “control” things. Our mantra during these times are “Let the market work itself out – competition is good!”

    But then we quickly turn around when the market forces are working and want the Government to step in like we live in a Socialist society to “to protect us from those greddy corporate b@st@rds!”

    The last time I looked, we live in a democracy where the voters control the government (regardless what the latest conspiracy theorists scream about – on both sides of the political spectrum) and the consumer controls the market forces. It’s our vote and our dollars.

    Am I wrong here? IMHO, we could be living in the Middle East where the quality of life is soooo much better than here. Or even Africa, I here things are great there as well. Oh shoot, I forgot about France where we don’t even have to work because of all the labor strikes. Oops, there’s England too, where we could live under a monarchy again!

    Just a thought

  5. So, let me get this straight: Republicans want less government regulation. Except when they don’t.

    Considering they pilloried Al Gore for having claimed to “invent” the Internet (he didn’t), I think they may go down as the group of asshats who “killed” the Internet.

  6. I’m just gonna open my wallet and bend over….. cause now things are going to get ugly.

    can you see this day?

    “I’m sorry, the page you are trying to load (http://www.apple.com) requires a long distance internet connection. Please call your ISP and pay them 50% of your yearly wages to access this site.”

    What is the reason that they are doing this?

    *shudders at the thought of a mega ISP like Bell Phone back in the day…*

  7. This is the phone companies trying to derail VOIP (like Skype). They (ATT and others) will be slowing down the packets so that the latency in a conversation will make Skype-like VOIP totally suck for phone conversations. This will protect their landline business just a little longer until they can figure out how to gouge us more for quality isp service.

    SBC (now ATT) are some of the biggest crooks and jerks on the planet. Of course they did not want Net Neutrality. They want to use and manipulate the hardware they’ve invested in to make outrageous profits.

    Telco based ISPs will also be slowing down the packet delivery of movie downloads from companies like Apple so that when they debut their own movie services with higher speed download availability they can claim “faster delivery” as a feature.

    The defeat of this Bill will actually benefit Google who has been investing millions in their own fiber optic network to assure swift packet delivery. The bad news for me is that my DSL comes from ATT (formerly SBC) so the jerks will still have their hand on the throttle of my download speed until an alternate high-speed connection becomes available to my residence (other than Charter Cable which ended up being the worst high-speed connection I’ve ever seen anywhere).

    Elections are coming. Write your legislators, let them know you’re displeased with their performance, send it via snail mail with a delivery confirmation so they know we know they received it. Vote out all the jerks who’ve sold out to business lobby groups.

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