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Net Neutrality Death or Life of Internet Decided in US Congress NOW, contact info!

"Congress is about to sell out the Internet by letting big phone and cable companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions in Washington to kill "network neutrality" -- a principle that keeps the Internet open to all. A bill moving quickly through Congress would let these companies become Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow -- and which won't load at all..."

Here it is, it's been knocking on the door for a while...the corporate majors are about to strangle the internet. The voting is down to the wire. Please contact undecided members of Congress on the Committee [26 yellow dots below as undecided yet, 8 green voting already for net neutrality; 21 red voting to kill net nutrality]. In the map below caught off the website, many have NOT VOTED YET in this crucial issue that will decide "network neutrality" as well as future content streams of the Internet. Contact the undecided if you can at the website  http://www.savetheinternet.com ; media activist and author Robert W. McChesney is President of this action.
55 people determining
55 people determining "net neutrality" death or life of Internet, contact them
Counting the 55 dots:

21 have voted to kill net neutrality
8 have voted to save net neutrality
26 have not voted yet

What's at stake?

Decisions being made now will shape the future of the Internet for a generation. Before long, all media TV, phone and the Web will come to your home via the same broadband connection. The dispute over net neutrality is about who'll control access to new and emerging technologies.

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There's no middleman. But without net neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available;... [or denied.]

This bill moving quickly through Congress would institutionalize middlemen. It would let huge corporate middlemen become complete Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow -- and which won't load at all -- based on who pays them more. The rest of us will be detoured to the "slow lane," clicking furiously and waiting for our favorite sites to download. Don't let Congress ruin the Internet, take action below.

Isn't the threat to net neutrality just hypothetical?

No. So far, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. But numerous examples show that without network neutrality requirements, Internet service providers will discriminate against content and competing services they don't like. This is a taste of what is to come with the death of net neutrality.

* In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.
* In 2005, Canada's telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute.
* Shaw, a big Canadian cable TV company, is charging an extra $10 a month to subscribers who want to use a competing Internet telephone service.
* In April, Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned www.dearaol.com an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

This type of censorship will become the norm unless we act now. Given the chance, these gatekeepers will consistently put their own interests before the public good.


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The map tracks votes on network neutrality by House Energy & Commerce Committee members. Click on a dot to learn how a member voted on a network neutrality amendment during a recent subcommittee mark up of the COPE Act the telecommunications legislation now moving through the House of Representatives.

Dots are colored to indicate each Representative's stance on network neutrality:

* Red: voted against net neutrality [21 have voted to kill net neutrality]
* Yellow: not yet voted on net neutrality [25 have not voted yet
* Green: voted for net neutrality [8 have voted to save net neutrality]

The map also provides a phone number for each Commerce Committee Representative. Call now to tell your Representative: "Support a free and open Internet. Defend network neutrality."

Here it is, it's been knocking on the door for a while
 http://www.savetheinternet.com for updated information

Congress Sells Out

After accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from big
telecom firms, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is sponsoring a bill to hand over
the Internet to these same companies. He's not alone.

Where Does Your Representative Stand?
 http://www.savetheinternet.com/=map

Act Now: Save the Internet

 http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/i7www8622jnx8jd?

Congress is about to sell out the Internet by letting big phone and cable
companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions in
Washington to kill "network neutrality" -- a principle that keeps the
Internet open to all.

A bill moving quickly through Congress would let these companies become
Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow -- and
which won't load at all -- based on who pays them more. The rest of us
will be detoured to the "slow lane," clicking furiously and waiting for
our favorite sites to download.

Don't let Congress ruin the Internet:

 http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/i7www8622jnx8jd?

Tell Congress to Save Net Neutrality Now
Our elected representatives are trading favors for campaign donations from
phone and cable companies. They're being wooed by people like AT&T's CEO,
who says "the Internet can't be free" and wants to decide what you do,
where you go and what you watch online.
The best ideas never come from those with the deepest pockets. If the
phone and cable companies get their way, the free and open Internet could
soon be fenced in by large corporations. If Congress turns the Internet
over to giants like AT&T, everyone who uses the Internet will suffer:

* Google users -- Another search engine could pay AT&T to
guarantee that it opens faster than Google on your computer.

* iPod listeners -- Comcast could slow access to iTunes, steering
you to a higher-priced music service that paid for the privilege.

* Work-at-home parents -- Connecting to your office could take
longer if you don't purchase your carrier's preferred applications.
Sending family photos and videos could slow to a crawl.

* Retirees -- Web pages you always use for online banking, access
to health care information, planning a trip or communicating with
friends and family could fall victim to Verizon's pay-for-speed schemes.

* Bloggers -- Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and
audio clips -- silencing citizen journalists and amplifying the
mainstream media.

* Online activists -- Political organizing could be slowed by the
handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups to pay a
fee to join the "fast lane."

* Small businesses -- When AT&T favors their own services, you
won't be able to choose more affordable providers for online video,
teleconferencing, and Internet phone calls.

* Innovators with the "next big idea" -- Startups and
entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations
that pay for a top spot on the Web.
We can't let Congress ruin the free and open Internet.
 http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/i7www8622jnx8jd?

Let Congress Know that You Want Net Neutrality Now
We must act now or lose the Internet as we know it.

Onward,
Robert W. McChesney
President
Free Press
www.freepress.net

P.S. Visit www.SavetheInternet.com to contact your representative, learn
more about this issue, and discuss this campaign with other activists. P.P.S. Tell your
 http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet/forward friends about
this campaign.
If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for the Free
Press at:
 http://action.freepress.net/freepress/join.html?r=ZpMcYXn1mj1kE

What is network neutrality?

"Network neutrality" or "net neutrality" for short is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet.

Net neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. With net neutrality, the network's only job is to move data not choose which data to privilege with higher quality service.

Net neutrality is the reason why the Internet has driven innovation and economic growth. It's why the Internet has become an unrivaled environment for open communications, civic involvement and free speech.

But there's currently no law on the books protecting net neutrality. If Congress doesn't take action now, the future of the Internet is at risk.

Who wants to get rid of net neutrality?

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. They want to discriminate in favor of their own search engines, Internet phone services, and streaming video while slowing down or blocking their competitors.

These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of an even playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services or those from big corporations that can afford the steep tolls and a leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.

What's at stake?

Decisions being made now will shape the future of the Internet for a generation. Before long, all media TV, phone and the Web will come to your home via the same broadband connection. The dispute over net neutrality is about who'll control access to new and emerging technologies.

On the Internet, consumers are in ultimate control deciding between content, applications and services available anywhere, no matter who owns the network. There's no middleman. But without net neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV. Network owners will decide which channels, content and applications are available; consumers will have to choose from their menu.

The Internet has always been driven by innovation. Web sites and services succeeded or failed on their own merit. Without net neutrality, decisions now made collectively by millions of users will be made in corporate boardrooms. The choice we face now is whether people can choose the content and services they want, or whether the broadband barons will choose for them.

What's happening in Congress?

The telephone and cable companies are filling up congressional campaign coffers and hiring high-priced lobbyists. They've set up "Astroturf" groups like "Hands Off the Internet" to confuse the issue and give the appearance of grassroots support.

Congress is now considering a major overhaul of the Telecommunications Act. The primary bill in the House is called the "Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006" and is sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas), Rep Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Rep. Charles Pickering (R-Miss.) and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

The current version of the COPE Act includes watered-down net neutrality provisions that are essentially meaningless. An amendment offered in a key subcommittee by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), which would have instituted real net neutrality requirements, was defeated after intense industry lobbying against it.

But it's not too late yet. A full committee vote on the measure and another opportunity to save the Internet could happen as soon as April 26.

The Senate is moving more deliberately on the issue. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has introduced the Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2006, which would ensure net neutrality. And Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (R-N.D.) are expected to introduce bipartisan amendment supporting net neutrality when the Senate takes up its own rewrite of the Telecommunications Act later this year.

But neither chamber will support the free and open Internet without widespread public pressure. To keep the Internet free and open, Congress needs to hear from millions of Americans right now.

Isn't this just a battle between giant corporations?

No. Small business owners benefit from an Internet that allows them to compete directly not one where they can't afford the price of entry. Net neutrality ensures that innovators can start small and dream big about being the next EBay or Google without facing insurmountable hurdles. Without net neutrality, startups and entrepreneurs will be muscled out of the marketplace by big corporations that pay for a top spot on the Web.

But net neutrality doesn't just matter to business owners. If Congress turns the Internet over to the telephone and cable giants, everyone who uses the Internet will be affected. Connecting to your office could take longer if you don't purchase your carrier's preferred applications. Sending family photos and videos could slow to a crawl. Web pages you always use for online banking, access to health care information, planning a trip or communicating with friends and family could fall victim to pay-for-speed schemes.

Independent voices and political groups are especially vulnerable. Costs will skyrocket to post and share video and audio clips, silencing bloggers and amplifying the big media companies. Political organizing could be slowed by the handful of dominant Internet providers who ask advocacy groups or candidates to pay a fee to join the "fast lane."

Isn't the threat to net neutrality just hypothetical?

No. So far, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg. But numerous examples show that without network neutrality requirements, Internet service providers will discriminate against content and competing services they don't like.

* In 2004, North Carolina ISP Madison River blocked their DSL customers from using any rival Web-based phone service.
* In 2005, Canada's telephone giant Telus blocked customers from visiting a Web site sympathetic to the Telecommunications Workers Union during a labor dispute.
* Shaw, a big Canadian cable TV company, is charging an extra $10 a month to subscribers who want to use a competing Internet telephone service.
* In April, Time Warner's AOL blocked all emails that mentioned www.dearaol.com an advocacy campaign opposing the company's pay-to-send e-mail scheme.

This type of censorship will become the norm unless we act now. Given the chance, these gatekeepers will consistently put their own interests before the public good.

Won't more regulations harm the free Internet? Shouldn't we just let the market decide?

Writing net neutrality into law would preserve the freedoms we currently enjoy on the Internet. For all their talk about "deregulation," the cable and telephone giants don't want real competition. They want special rules written in their favor.

Either we make rules that ensure an even playing field for everyone, or we have rules that hold the Internet captive to the whims of the a few big companies. The Internet has thrived because revolutionary ideas like blogs, Wikipedia or Google could start on a shoestring and attract huge audiences. Without net neutrality, the pipeline owners will choose the winners and losers on the Web.

And when the network owners start abusing their control of the pipes, there's nowhere else for consumers to turn. The cable and telephone companies already dominate 98 percent of the broadband market. Only 53 percent of Americans have a choice between cable and DSL at home. Everyone else has only one choice or no broadband options at all. That's not what a truly free market looks like.

Who's part of the SavetheInternet.com Coalition?

The SavetheInternet.com coalition is made up of dozens of groups from across the political spectrum that are concerned about maintaining a free and open Internet. No corporation or political party is funding our efforts. We simply agree to a statement of principles in support of Internet freedom.

The coalition is being coordinated by Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization focused on media reform and Internet policy issues. Please complete this brief survey if you're group would like to join this broad, bipartisan effort to save the Internet.

Who else supports net neutrality?

The supporters of net neutrality include leading high-tech companies such as Amazon.com, Earthlink, EBay, Google, Microsoft, Skype, Vonage and Yahoo. Prominent national figures such as Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and FCC Commissioner Michael Copps have called for stronger net neutrality protections.

Editorial boards at the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and Christian Science Monitor all have urged congress to save the Internet.

What can I do to help?

Sign the SavetheInternet.com petition.
 http://action.freepress.net/campaign/savethenet

Call your representatives today especially if they're on the House Commerce Committee and demand that net neutrality be protected.

Encourage groups you're part of to please join the SavetheInternet.com Coalition.

Tell your friends about this crucial issue before it's too late.
yes, that red dot is in Oregon 24.Apr.2006 04:17

.

Rep. Greg Walden (against net neutrality)
Republican representing Oregon's 2nd district
Call Rep. Walden now at 202-225-6730
Say: "Please keep the Internet free and open. Vote for enforceable network neutrality requirements. Thank you."