Reps look to promote internet freedom


Ed Markey (D-MA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) are back with a bill designed to “preserve a free and open internet.” In fact, it’s called H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act. The two introduced similar legislation back in the 109th Congress. The bill would require the FCC examine carrier activities, particularly involving blocked content, and would require that it conduct no less than eight geographically-diverse summits within a year of the bill’s enactment.

“The Internet is a success today because it was open to everyone with an idea,” said Markey. “That openness and freedom has been at risk since the Supreme Court decision in Brand X. This bill will protect consumers and content providers because it will restore the guarantee that one does not have to ask permission to innovate.”

“The Internet has thrived and revolutionized business and the economy precisely because it started as an open technology,” added Eshoo. “This bill will ensure that the non-discriminatory framework that allows the Internet to thrive and competition on the Web to flourish is preserved at a time when our economy needs it the most.”

The broadband summits are intended to provide a platform for “consumers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders” to weigh in on the matter as the rules of the road going forward are established. Concepts the legislators would like to protect include “consumer protection, competition, and consumer choice.”

RBR/TVBR observation: When the FCC is tied up with broadband matters, it is not devoting its full attention to devising crazy unenforceable local broadcast programming requirements or forcing broadcasters to fill out useless reports and forcing a studio in every city of license. And that’s a good thing. (Two bad the FCC’s division of labor allows them to work on both issues simultaneously.)