Net neutrality is at stake

by Bryn Youngblut on July 7, 2008

Originally posted by google

What is Net Neutrality?

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. The Internet has operated according to this neutrality principle since its earliest days. Indeed, it is this neutrality that has allowed many companies, including Google, to launch, grow, and innovate. Fundamentally, net neutrality is about equal access to the Internet. In our view, the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content. Just as telephone companies are not permitted to tell consumers who they can call or what they can say, broadband carriers should not be allowed to use their market power to control activity online. Today, the neutrality of the Internet is at stake as the broadband carriers want Congress’s permission to determine what content gets to you first and fastest. Put simply, this would fundamentally alter the openness of the Internet.

What is the Current Status of Net Neutrality?

Net neutrality is a major issue as the U.S. considers new telecommunications laws. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its telecommunications bill, H.R. 5252, in May, without adequate net neutrality protections. Now the fight has moved to U.S. Senate. On June 28, the Senate Commerce Committee passed its own telecom bill, S. 2686. While an amendment to the bill that would have added meaningful net neutrality safeguards failed 11-11, this tie vote marks a significant political victory and gives the effort new momentum. The debate now shifts to the full Senate, where advocates will be working to get strong net neutrality language is any bill that the Senate considers.

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