August 13, 2009
Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 Introduced in the House
Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), introduced H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009, [Thomas, OpenCongress] on July 31 to protect network neutrality under the Communications Act, safeguard the future of the open Internet and protect Internet users from discrimination online.
The bill's Internet Freedom Policy policy statement:
It is the policy of the United States--
(1) to protect the right of consumers to access lawful content, run lawful applications, and use lawful services of their choice on the Internet;
(2) to preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of broadband networks and to enable consumers to connect to such networks their choice of lawful devices, as long as such devices do not harm the network;
(3) to promote consumer choice and competition among providers of lawful content, applications, and services;
(4) to ensure that consumers receive meaningful information regarding their communications services;
(5) to ensure the ability to use or offer lawful broadband content, applications, and services for lawful purposes, as has been the policy and history of the Internet and the basis of user expectations since its inception;
(6) to guard against discriminatory favoritism for, or degradation of, lawful content, applications, or services by network operators based upon their source, ownership, or destination on the Internet;
(7) to preserve the freedom of independent Internet content, application, and service providers to compete and innovate;
(8) to foster an evolving level of capacity available throughout communications networks to support competition and innovation for lawful Internet content, applications, and services, including applications and services that require substantial downstream and upstream bandwidth; and
(9) to ensure that the Internet remains an indispensable platform for innovation in the United States economy, thereby enabling the Nation to provide global leadership in online commerce and technological progress.
Duties of Internet Access Service Providers under the bill:
With respect to any Internet access service offered to the public, each Internet access service provider shall have the duty to--
(1) not block, interfere with, discriminate against, impair, or degrade the ability of any person to use an Internet access service to access, use, send, post, receive, or offer any lawful content, application, or service through the Internet;
(2) not impose a charge on any Internet content, service, or application provider to enable any lawful Internet content, application, or service to be offered, provided, or used through the provider's service, beyond the end user charges associated with providing the service to such provider;
(3) not prevent or obstruct a user from attaching any lawful device to or utilizing any such device in conjunction with such service, provided such device does not harm the provider's network;
(4) offer Internet access service to any person upon reasonable request therefor;
(5) not provide or sell to any content, application, or service provider, including any affiliate provider or joint venture, any offering that prioritizes traffic over that of other such providers on an Internet access service; and
(6) not install or utilize network features, functions, or capabilities that impede or hinder compliance with this section.
About H.R. 3458, Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press writes:
An army of lobbyists has been unleashed by the phone and cable companies to kill Net Neutrality so they can become the Internet’s gatekeepers. But the momentum is shifting in the public’s favor. President Obama has repeatedly called for Net Neutrality; we have a new pro-Net Neutrality chairman now heading the Federal Communications Commission; and popular support is growing every day."
All Americans deserve access to a free and open Internet, and millions have already called on our lawmakers to take action. This legislation gives the grassroots confidence that their voices are being heard.
For an analysis of H.R. 3458, see Mehan Jayasuriya's Close Reading: The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 post on Public Knowledge Blog. You can show your support for the H.R. 3458 on Open Congress. [JH]
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