Response from Representative Miller on “Net Neutrality”

So here we go… I sent an e-mail to my representatives on the “Net Neutrality” issue. And, amazingly, I got back a response!

Here it is:

Dear Mr. Bailey:

Thank you for contacting me about “net neutrality.” I appreciate hearing from you.

Recent changes in federal regulation and court decisions have altered the legal protections against discrimination in access to the internet. As a result, some internet service providers now see the potential to profit by providing favored treatment to some internet content providers, the same way retailers charge manufacturers for prominent product displays in their stores. Such discrimination among internet content providers would forever change the open, vibrant competition based now on the appeal of internet content and would deny consumers the right to choose internet content freely.

The House considered the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enforcement (“COPE”) Act on June 8, 2006. Two amendments specifically presented the issue of net neutrality. One clarified that antitrust laws applied to internet service providers, which would provide modest protection against discrimination among internet content providers. I voted for that amendment, which passed by a vote of 353 to 68. Congressman Ed Markey offered a more ambitious amendment that would have specifically required net neutrality by internet service providers, reinstating the previous regulatory protection to content providers and consumers. I voted for that amendment also, but the amendment failed by a vote of 152 to 269. Finally, I voted against the COPE Act for a variety of reasons, but prominent among those reasons was the failure to include provisions to protect net neutrality. The bill passed the House by a vote of 321 to 101.

It appears very unlikely that the Senate will accept the legislation passed by the House, so the issue will likely come before the House again, in which case I will certainly keep your views in mind.

Please contact me about other issues important to you. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Brad Miller
Member of Congress

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