While I work to fight HB1587 in the NC house I was wondering where our Presidential candidates might stand on this bill. HB1587 is ANTI-Net Neutrality on a very local level. Federal anti-net neutrality legislation isn’t going fast enough for the telcos so they went to the state legislature. So today I found a letter John Edwards wrote to the FCC. (Hat tip to Micah Sifry on Tech Pres)
Via Electronic Comment Filing System
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20554
Re: Docket 07-52, In the Matter of Broadband Industry Practices
I understand today is the last day that you take public comments before starting to decide whether the Internet is going to remain free and open, or whether a few big telecommunications and media companies will be able to decide what content we get to read, listen and watch first.
This question goes to the heart and soul of democracy. For democracy to work in this country, people need to be well informed and we need to hear a wide variety of diverse voices.
Equal access to the Internet is also important for growing our economy. Small businesses and entrepreneurs cannot hope to outbid big companies for preferred status on the Web. It is worth asking whether new businesses like Amazon and eBay could have emerged into fast-growing powerhouses if they had been shunted to the slow lane of the information superhighway.
If you do not guarantee net neutrality, the Internet could go the way of network television and commercial radio – with just a few loud voices and no room for the grassroots and small entrepreneurs. Our country is already divided enough between the haves and have-nots. Where we go to school, where (and if) we get health care, whether we can retire with dignity – we have big divides in all of these areas in this country. While we work to create one America, we should not allow the Internet to be divided so that some web sites work faster based on who can pay the highest access fees. That would make the other important work we have to do that much harder.
I urge the FCC to continue to preserve free expression and commerce on the Internet by continuing to enforce net neutrality.
THANK YOU John Edwards! Ever since you’ve sat and listened to podcasters and bloggers I’ve felt we had hope you would support Net Neutrality. Sometimes I wonder if I support Edwards cause he’s a local boy. But now I know there is another plank in his platform that REALLY matters to me.
In the 21st century the power required to bring about equality will come from the Internet. The amount of power obtained will be determined by how much information you can create and have access too. Net Neutrality is vital to a future of equality. A modern populist is a techno-populist who supports Net Neutrality.
I hope President Edwards will be a techno-populist. How will JRE bridge the digital divide if he becomes president?