US Senator Ron Wyden is urging the FCC to pass strong net neutrality rules to prevent large broadband providers from taking control of the Internet. "I think there are storm clouds ahead that could close the doors of the technology marketplace to future innovation," said Wyden, an Oregon Democrat. "The continued growth of the Net right now is being hampered by the lack of clear, enforceable standards on net neutrality. I don't think the country can afford that in these kinds of difficult economic times."
Wyden, speaking during the Computer & Communications Industry Association's (CCIA's) Washington, DC, caucus, called on the FCC to develop more definite net neutrality rules beyond the case-by-case enforcement that the agency is taking now. Wyden and other backers of net neutrality rules say there need to be stronger policies against broadband providers blocking or slowing Web content from competitors of themselves or their partners.
Wyden, a member of the Senate Judiciary and Finance committees, said net neutrality advocates need to challenge the FCC to adopt stronger rules. "We've got to make sure the 'Net is protected from the ever-present impulse of broadband companies who would like to take advantage of their position as a middleman to erect ... barriers for their own benefit," he said. "It is critical to create jobs and benefits for everybody in every nook and cranny in this country, and not just for the fortunate few."
Net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers should be required to treat all data packets transmitted over their networks with equal favor, was one of the major differences in last year's presidential election. "A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way," Obama's tech policy states. "Barack Obama strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."
Posted May 11, 2009 1:12 PM
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