BMG has obtained an advance copy of Senate candidate Steve Pagliuca’s policy statement on Net Neutrality. You read it here first!
Defending Net Neutrality
A Pagliuca for Senate Report
Preserving the internet as an open resource for free speech, innovation, and job creation
Since its creation, the internet has been a transformational force in the United States and an engine for job creation across a vast cross-section of the information economy. In Massachusetts, thousands of high tech and service firms rely on access to the internet for their businesses to succeed and grow through online innovation. For years, the internet has driven economic growth and creativity nationwide. But the enduring principles that have made the internet open to innovation and widely accessible are now under threat in Washington, DC.
In America, access to the Internet is facilitated by more than 4,000 Internet Service Providers but the four largest companies account for more than half of all revenues. Right now in the United States Congress, there are two distinct approaches to regulate these giant companies and the internet traffic they control.
One, advocated by Senator John McCain and the Republican Party, would allow service providers to slow down connections for individual users that they target. Under their plan, a provider could deny access to a site that provides a rival service or take money from another party to block access to any internet user.
Steve would strenuously oppose these provisions and work with Democrats in the US Congress to advance legislation that would protect the rights of internet users, defend net neutrality, and enact a smart regulatory policy to govern cyberspace. If elected to the United State Senate, he would pursue the following concrete priorities:
1. ESTABLISH A NATIONAL POLICY TO PROTECT A FREE AND OPEN INTERNET. The best way to ensure the continued viability of the internet is to proactively establish national standards which regulate companies who control access to the Internet. Steve supports Rep. Markey’s proposed Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 and would support similar legislation in the Senate.
2. SUPPORT CHAIRMAN GENACHOWSKI’S PRINCIPLES AND PROPOSED RULES. The FCC has adopted guiding principles of Net Neutrality which prevent ISPs from prohibiting access to legal content, applications, or services and from preventing users from attaching legal devices to the network. Steve also supports the Chairman’s additional proposal to prohibit discrimination against certain types of internet content or applications and that would permit ISPs to engage in limited network management practices as long as such practices were disclosed.
3. MAKE THE RULES APPLY TO WIRELESS NETWORKS. Wireless networks are the future of the internet. By the end of 2009, 250 million users will have subscribed to wireless and that number will rise substantially in the years to come. Steve believes that the principles of Net Neutrality need to apply to wireless networks as well as wire-line internet. Opponents of this principle, namely internet access providers and their lobbyists, argue that technological differences make a position of neutrality difficult. Steve knows that the rules ensuring net neutrality can be modified to account for technological challenges without offending the fundamental principles of an open Internet, and would fight for such an outcome in the Senate.