Keep the Internet Open

The internet is this country’s greatest, most used, and largest public library. Nearly a year ago, the FCC adopted FC 10-201 to keep the doors of the internet open to American citizens. In this regulation, the FCC cites evidence that broadband providers had been covertly blocking or degrading Internet traffic, and that cable companies have financial incentive and ability to shut things down even more.

Here’s a summary of values stated in the report:


1. Today the Commission takes an important step to preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation, investment, job creation, economic growth, competition, and free expression. To provide greater clarity and certainty regarding the continued freedom and openness of the Internet, we adopt three basic rules that are grounded in broadly accepted Internet norms, as well as our own prior decisions:

i. Transparency.
Fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network
management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of their
broadband services;
ii. No blocking.
Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services; and
iii. No unreasonable discrimination.
Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.

We believe these rules, applied with the complementary principle of reasonable network management, will empower and protect consumers and innovators while helping ensure that the Internet continues to flourish, with robust private investment and rapid innovation at both the core and the edge of the network. This is consistent with the National Broadband Plan goal of broadband access that is ubiquitous and fast, promoting the global competitiveness of the United States.

But NO! Senator Kay Hutichson (R-TX) introduced S.J. Resolution 6 to the Senate floor to strike down openness and transparency on the internet. The resolution states in plain English that Congress is against openness on the internet! If passed, this resolution will make the FCC unable to ensure the doors of the world’s greatest public library stay open to the public. This resolution is job-killing, innovation-stalling, and education-thwarting.

The resolution is so short, I’ll post its contents in their entirety for you to see for yourself:

Disapproving the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to regulating the Internet and broadband industry practices.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices (Report and Order FCC 10-201, adopted by the Commission on December 21, 2010), and such rule shall have no force or effect.

Today I called Scott Brown’s office in DC to tell him to vote NO on S.J. Res. 6. The number is (202) 224-4543. Do you use the internet? Do you plan to use it in the future? If so, then please call your senators to tell them to vote for American innovation and against S.J. Res. 6.

p.s. — If you live in Maine, ask Olympia Snowe (202) 224-5344 and Susan Collins (202) 224-2523 how this resolution will create jobs in Maine. If you live in New Hampshire, ask Kelly Ayotte (202) 224-3324 whether this resolution will help New Hampshire families make ends meet. They must believe it will. They co-sponsored the resolution, after all.