Saturday, July 01, 2006

Senate deals blow to Net neutrality

--A U.S. Senate panel narrowly rejected strict Net neutrality rules on Wednesday, dealing a grave setback to companies like eBay, Google and that had made enacting them a top political priority this year.

By an 11-11 tie, the Senate Commerce Committee failed to approve a Democrat-backed amendment that would have ensured all Internet traffic is treated the same no matter what its "source" or "destination" might be. A majority was needed for the amendment to succeed.
This vote complicates Internet companies' efforts to convince Congress of the desirability of extensive new regulations, especially after the House of Representatives
definitively rejected the concept in a 269-152 vote on June 8.

Republican committee members attacked the idea of inserting Net neutrality regulations in a massive telecommunications bill, echoing comments from broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon, which warned the rules were premature and unnecessary. Alaska's
Ted Stevens, the committee chairman, accused his colleagues of "imposing a heavy-handed regulation before there's a demonstrated need."

For background on the Net Neutrality issue click here.


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