Proposed Policy Will Formally Legalize Net Neutrality

Network neutrality, the ability to download any site from any ISP– and with equal speed– is something we take for granted. Oddly, though, there’s no law on the books forbidding providers like Time Warner from charging content providers a premium for faster service. And not to get ahead of ourselves, but if John McCain wins the general election, he’s likely to support policies sympathetic to big business (read: your friendly neighborhood media conglomerates). We were glad to hear, then, that Net neutrality made its way onto the Congressional agenda today. The bill proposed by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, would require the FCC to determine whether ISPs are “blocking, thwarting or unreasonably interfering” with customers’ access to content. The FCC would also have the power to decide if an ISP should be penalized for charging a fee to content providers. (The FCC already does this, actually. Again, this bill would legalize what is now de facto legislation). Stay tuned for continuing coverage as Congress– and the Presidential candidates– square off on Net neutrality.

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