Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Report Separates Fact from Fiction in Net Neutrality Debate

Consumers Union, Consumer Federation, Free Press, MAP and U.S. PIRG Support House Judiciary Committee’s Effort to Protect a Free and Open Internet

WASHINGTON - May 25 - A coalition of leading consumer and public interest groups today welcomed the "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006," a bill introduced in the House Judiciary Committee that would offer meaningful protections under the law for Network Neutrality – the guiding principle that ensures a free and open Internet.

The bill, HR 5417, is sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.); Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.); and Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.). In reaction to this new, bipartisan legislation, Free Press, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Media Access Project and U.S. PIRG made the following statement:

"We applaud the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee for taking this important step toward preserving a free and open Internet.

"From its inception, the Internet has prospered on a foundation of equality and neutrality, open to all and protected from discrimination by unnecessary gatekeepers. Network Neutrality is about preserving the Internet as truly free market that encourages competition and innovation.

"In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens have contacted Congress, urging their elected officials to protect Network Neutrality. Despite the intense lobbying and misleading advertising of the cable and telecommunications industry, Congress is beginning to heed the public outcry.

"A growing alliance in Congress recognizes that Network Neutrality is not a partisan issue, but one of grave importance to anyone who wishes to see the Internet remain an unrivaled environment for innovation, civic participation and free speech. We urge all members of Congress to support this important legislation."

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