A Republican Congress kept Ed Markey (D-MA) and colleagues in the Senate from making headway in making the concept of digital network neutrality a matter of law. With fresh controversies regarding blocked content and Democrats at the helms of both houses, word is out that Markey is set to try again. Telecom companies AT&T and Verizon, and cable giant Comcast, have all been cited in content blocking incidents, and many fear such corporate interventions will become the norm if mandates calling for equal treatment of content are not on the books. Similar legislation is already pending in the Senate, courtesy of Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
RBR/TVBR observation: The point of net neutrality is that communications are treated equally as phone calls have been. That’s it. We think the argument that imposing net neutrality will inhibit investment is disingenuous. There’s money in them thar virtual hills, and investors will go after it, with net neutrality or not. Innovator Mark Cuban testified before the House earlier this year that the current Internet infrastructure is aging rapidly, but that increased bandwidth with cure all ills and make the net neutrality issue moot. If he’s right, common carriers and content generators can all enjoy a nice payday without self-appointed gatekeepers deciding what is and is not made available to the community at large.