News
News
6/29/2006
06:19 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Net Neutrality Battle Shifts To Full Senate

The fact that the committee tied on the amendment is considered an indication that the Senate may also be split and that conditions are ripe for a dogfight.

The battle over Net neutrality has shifted from a Senate panel, where a bill to force Internet service providers to maintain a level playing field was rejected, to the full Senate, where an even bigger battle may be brewing.

The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday voted 11-11 on an amendment that would have barred telephone and cable companies from charging others for delivering high-bandwidth services over the Internet. The tie meant the Net neutrality measure would not be a part of a sweeping telecommunications reform bill that was approved by the panel.

But rather than mark the end, the committee's action merely shifted the focus of the divisive issue to the full Senate. The fact that the committee tied on the amendment is considered an indication that the Senate may also be split and that conditions ripe for a dogfight.

"There will be an epic battle in the Senate over Net neutrality," said Adam Green, a spokesman for MoveOn.org Civic Action, which is part of a coalition fighting for the amendment.

Some neutral observers see the potential for a political brawl. David Kaut, a telecom analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, told the Washington Post that the tie vote suggests a hardening of opposition by Senate Democrats unless a bill includes Net neutrality safeguards.

At issue is a telecom reform bill approved by the committee without the Net neutrality amendment. The fate of that bill is expected to hinge on the outcome of the Net neutrality debate. When Congress returns from its recess in September, there will be little time to pass bills before the session ends and lawmakers head back to their home turf for the November elections.

Already, there are indications that some Democrats may seek a filibuster if a Net neutrality measure doesn't get in the telecom bill. Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has reportedly said he doesn't believe he has the 60 votes needed to override a filibuster.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.