How do you feel about Net Neutrality?


We had some resolution to Net Neutrality last December. It was a win for proponents of Net Neutrality – but not a strong win. In the last month, there’s been an effort to reverse those decisions made last year. In fact, yesterday was the day the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology House Commerce Committee was set to vote on a resolution of disapproval to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet regulations yesterday. But that vote has been postponed. House Commerce Committee Republicans have agreed to a request from the panel’s top Democrats to hold a hearing on a resolution that would block the Federal Communications Commission’s network neutrality rules. That meeting is planned for March 9.

Broadcasting & Cable provides a succinct summary of the recent turns in the issue…

In announcing the new hearing, the committee majority pointed out it would be the second hearing on the rules [network neutrality regs]. The first in the subcommittee was an oversight hearing with all five FCC commissioners that dealt primarily with those regs, which were approved Dec. 21 on a 3-2 vote with the Republicans strongly opposed. House Republicans were strongly opposed as well. Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) introduced the resolution, and Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), both said this week they would take whatever steps necessary to block the regs.

That could also include trying to defund implementation as part of the appropriations bill being hammered out in Congress. An amendment to do that was made part of the earlier continuing resolution passed by the House but threatened with veto by the president.

Just as some are determined to block net neutrality, others are working to preserve it – or at least keep that door open. The folks at Center for Media Justice have pointed out…

It is important to note that if enacted, a CRA repeal would not only overturn the current rules [net neutrality] that were produced in December but would also eliminate the authority of the FCC to address open Internet policy in the future.

Net Neutrality is not a state issue. It’s a Federal issue. But the results of what is decided will have an impact on all Internet users – regardless of where you live. In Minnesota we have some varying opinions. Al Franken called it “the First Amendment issue of our time”. Michelle Bachmann said net neutrality “is essentially censorship of the Internet.” Minnesota’s own Collin Peterson is expected to be one of the key votes, as Chris Mitchell points out..

A number of Democrats are leaning toward voting with Republicans on this issue, including one of Minnesota’s: Representative Colin Peterson from the 7th District.

Now is a good time to ask yourself – how do I feel about net neutrality? – and let your representative know how you feel.