Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let's all roll up our sleeves and protect the Internet

In a recent letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe invites her colleagues in Congress, the FCC, industry and public advocacy groups to “roll up our sleeves and update existing laws” that pertain to the Internet.

Snowe, a self-described “long-time champion of network neutrality,” rebukes the “hyperbole and rhetoric from both sides” of the issue since the FCC announced its proposal to reclassify broadband under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. She says we must resist the temptation to try and fit emerging technology and the wonders of the 21st century communications network in to the stilted and aging telephony laws of the past.

"Just as technologies, networks, and services have dramatically evolved over the past decade, so too must our policy and regulation--to better reflect the changes in the landscape and ensure our continued competitiveness in the global digital economy.”

As a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, and one of few GOP backers of network neutrality, Snowe is seeking what she calls the only true “middle ground.” Described at this point as a “new and appropriate framework” that will include rules to protect consumers and prohibit anticompetitive practices, Snowe also wants to ensure broadband providers have the flexibility to effectively manage their networks and ensure quality of service to all customers.

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