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5/26/2006
04:12 PM
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Full House To Take Up Bipartisan Net Neutrality Bill

The bill, also called the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006, was introduced last week.

A network neutrality bill headed for a full vote by the U.S. House of Representatives drew immediate and strong reaction from coalitions on both sides of the issue.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 5417, a bi-partisan net neutrality bill by a 20-13 vote Thursday. The bill, also called the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006, was introduced last week by Reps. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the committee and John Conyers Jr., the ranking member.

Hands off The Internet Co-Chairman Christopher Wolf said the regulation will cost consumers money and stop progress with high-speed networks.

"As numerous technology experts and now the nation's major communications union (Communications Workers of America) have stated clearly, America must act quickly to deploy more Internet access options at affordable prices," he said. "Our economy depends on it."

Many technology experts, including Web pioneers and CEOs for companies like Amazon, eBay, Google and Microsoft have joined bloggers and political groups from across the party spectrum to say that net neutrality is necessary to protect the growth of the Internet. Those groups, ItsYourNet and The SaveTheInternet.com Coalition, praised the passage of the legislation.

They said the bill would protect the rights of millions of Internet users and prevent Internet discrimination and tiered access, or better service for higher rates and lesser service for lower rates.

The SaveTheInternet.com Coalition announced that more than 750,000 people had signed its petition supporting the bill, which is expected to go to the floor for a full House vote after Memorial Day weekend.

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