Jump to content
Washington DC Message Boards

H.R. 5353, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act


Guest Jessica Schafer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Jessica Schafer

Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunication and the Internet, today introduced H.R. 5353, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, continuing his efforts started in 2006 to ensure that the historic, open architecture nature of the Internet will be preserved and fostered for the consumers, content providers and high tech innovators of the future. Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) joined Rep. Markey as an original co-sponsor of the bill.

 

Rep. Markey made the following introductory statement:

 

"The global leadership in high technology the United States provides stems directly from historic policies that have ensured that telecommunications networks are open to all lawful uses and to all users. In addition, because of the vital role that broadband networks and the Internet fulfill in exercising our First Amendment rights to speak, it is important that the United States adopt a policy endorsing the open nature of broadband networks.

 

"The open architecture nature of the Internet is baked into its "technological DNA" - it is what has ensured the Internet's place as the greatest "level playing field" ever created. At its core, the debate over Internet freedom is a battle about innovation and voices. For innovation, the Internet has no peer its ability to foster innovation and provide low barriers to entry for new ideas and businesses. As for voices, the Internet today is a wonderfully chaotic medium where voices both powerful and less powerful can be heard through the media mix. Individual citizens, civic groups, religious organizations, sporting clubs, trade associations, small business owners and others all have a stake in ensuring that broadband network providers keep their hands off the Internet and not degrade the ability of anybody to reach other citizens, to experiment and innovate, or to engage in free enterprise.

 

"The goal of this bipartisan legislation is to assure consumers, content providers, and high tech innovators that the historic, open architecture nature of the Internet will be preserved and fostered. H.R. 5353 is designed to assess and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers. Internet freedom generally embodies the notion that consumers and content providers should be free to send, receive, access and use the lawful applications, content, and services of their choice on broadband networks, possess the effective right to attach and use non-harmful devices to use in conjunction with their broadband services, and that content providers not be subjected to unreasonably discriminatory practices by broadband network providers.

 

"There are some who may wish to assert that this bill regulates the Internet. It does no such thing. The bill contains no requirements for regulations on the Internet whatsoever. It does, however, suggest that the principles which have guided the Internet's development and expansion are highly worthy of retention, and it seeks to enshrine such principles in the law as guide stars for U.S. broadband policy. The bill tasks the FCC with the job of conducting an assessment of broadband practices and consumer rights. Finally, it requires the FCC to hold eight broadband summits around the nation and to report back to Congress on its findings and any recommendations for further action.

 

"I look forward to working with Full Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI), Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX), and other colleagues in the Congress on this initiative and other broadband policies in the coming months.

 

http://markey.house.gov/docs/telecomm/hr5353.pdf

 

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act

 

Introduced by

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS)

 

Summary

 

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act is designed to assess and promote Internet freedom for consumers and content providers. Internet freedom generally embodies the notion that consumers and content providers should be free to send, receive, access and use the lawful applications, content, and services of their choice on broadband networks, possess the effective right to attach and use non-harmful devices to use in conjunction with their broadband services, and that content providers not be subjected to new, discriminatory charges by broadband network providers. These general principles haveoften been referred to as “network neutrality” principles as well.

 

The bill has three key sections.

 

1) Broadband Policy

 

The legislation establishes overarching national broadband policy. Similar to the provisions of law that today guide U.S. telecommunications and media policy, which were enacted decades ago as Section 1 of the Communications Act, the bill proposes a new section to the Communications Act to update these policy objectives and articulate new national policy for the broadband era.

 

The new national broadband policy contained in the bill states:

 

“It is the policy of the United States—

 

( 1 ) to maintain the freedom to use for lawful purposes broadband telecommunications networks, including the Internet, without unreasonable interference from or discrimination by network operators, as has been the policy and history of the Internet and the basis of user expectations since its inception;

 

( 2 ) to ensure that the Internet remains a vital force in the United States economy, thereby enabling the Nation to preserve its global leadership in online commerce and technological innovation;

 

( 3 ) to preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of broadband networks that enable consumers to reach, and service providers to offer, lawful content, applications, and services of their choosing, using their selection of devices, as long as such devices do not harm the network; and

 

( 4 ) to safeguard the open marketplace of ideas on the Internet by adopting and enforcing baseline protections to guard against unreasonable discriminatory favoritism for, or degradation of, content by network operators based upon its source, ownership, or destination on the Internet.”

 

2) Internet Freedom Assessment The second key provision of the bill tasks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with the job of conducting an assessment of broadband services and consumer rights. It requires the FCC to evaluate several items, including whether broadband

network providers are adhering to the FCC’s own Broadband Policy Statement (FCC 05-151), whether broadband network providers add charges for services that are inconsistent with the bill’s expression of Internet freedom principles, and whether certain consumerfriendly applications (such as anti-spam services and parental content blocking tools), network management functions, or policies for prioritizing particular Internet traffic (such as for emergency communications) may be consistent with such principles. The assessment will also include an analysis of the benefits of an open platform for the U.S. economy and how Federal broadband policies and regulations (such as spectrum allocations, video franchising rules, or universal service programs) may impact the

prospects for protecting and promoting Internet freedom.

 

3) Broadband Summits

 

Finally, the legislation also requires the FCC to conduct eight public broadband summits around the country within a year after the date of enactment of the bill. The goal of such summits is to obtain testimony and input from consumers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, local governments, academics, labor organizations, and other interested parties about Internet freedom and U.S. broadband policies affecting consumer protection, competition, and consumer choice.

As part of this proceeding, the FCC is also tasked with utilizing broadband technology to also obtain input via the Internet in order to maximize the ability of citizens to participate in this inquiry.

 

The legislation requires the FCC to report back to Congress on the results of its Internet freedom assessment, and include information gained during its broadband summits, with recommendations for additional steps to promote competition, safeguard free speech, and ensure consumer protections and consumer choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Scott Cleland

Chairman Markey's new net neutrality bill is really a 'wolf in sheep's clothing' because it seeks regulation of the Internet under the guise of 'Internet freedom.'

 

Today's Internet is a direct result of bipartisan congressional policy 'to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet…unfettered by Federal or State regulation…' This free market policy unleashed an unprecedented wave of American innovation. Congress knows that the free market, not government red tape, is the real secret sauce behind American innovation leadership in the world.

 

The Internet is the greatest deregulation success of all time. In contrast, net neutrality regulation proponents seek to enthrone government's unproven technological judgment above and before the proven innovation judgment and success of the free market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...