Net Neutrality (09/21/06)

The illustration is from Salon.com.

Since Verizon has been fighting net neutrality, I was disappointed that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, or at least its Chairman, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens (R-Alaska)  would  issue a press release on September 18  taking  the company’s sponsored poll   as reflecting voters’ opinion on the need for legislation preserving this principle.

In looking at how the poll is constructed, it looks like the questions were constructed to manufacture a show of support for Verizon’s point of view.   I find the Committee’s September 18 press release () about the poll is odd, indeed.

The survey found, according to the release,

very few registered voters are familiar with the issue of network neutrality. In some regions of the country, only 5 percent of likely voters had even heard of “Net Neutrality.

How, if hardly anyone has heard of network neutrality,  can a majority of Americans be against it? How do questions about whether respondents want a choice of video providers show that Americans are against network neutrality?

I’d prefer the committee look at this September 12 analysis of  the benefits of net neutrality from AeE, the trade association for the tech industry.

Stevens has been trying to get his telcom bill  passed to no avail.  Now according an article on the website, TV Technology, “Telecom Bill May Have to be Dismembered,”

Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) said that if opponents of the legislation couldn’t be appeased in time to pass the total package this year, Plan B was to “take the bill in pieces.”

The Nation’s Jeff Chester examines Steven’s news release September 19, as does Save the Internet’s blog entry of September 20.

Free Press has a form letter you can send to your internet provider asking it to stop fighting net neutrality, with a copy sent to your members of Congress here.

 

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