Subject: Responding to your message
Sent: Jan 27, 2010 1:45 PM
Dear Ms. Durant,
Thank you for taking the time to contact my office regarding net neutrality. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.
I understand how important the Internet is for our country and its economy. Americans increasingly rely on the Internet for business, news, and recreation, and I consider ensuring the excellence of American broadband and wireless services to be a worthy goal for this country. The issues surrounding the net neutrality debate are extremely complex. From its inception, the Internet has been based on principles of equal and open access, and changes in technology and increasing access to broadband present challenges to those principles. People and businesses around the world have a vested interest in the stability, speed, and overall "health" of the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) believes that regulation may be necessary to ensure that high quality and easy access remain broadly available. At the same time, I know that many companies have invested huge sums of money in making the Internet what it is today, and some net neutrality proposals could threaten to stifle innovation and creativity for companies to offer new products as a result of burdensome government regulation.
The FCC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) regarding net neutrality on October 22, 2009. This NPR seeks to codify six principles to preserve the free and open internet, including, among others, principles of non-discrimination and transparency of network management. The open comment period on this NPR is scheduled to last until January, with the time for responses to comment lasting until March. This means that there will be no final decisions made on the issue of net neutrality until that time at the earliest, short of Congressional action.
As you may know, H.R.3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act would require broadband service providers to abide by certain net neutrality principles, and would not allow providers to prioritize or demean Internet content and services. This billwould also prohibit providers from charging higher rates to companies in return for quicker service. Currently, the bill is before the House Energy and CommerceCommittee. Senator McCain has also introduced S.1836, the Internet Freedom Act, which would prohibit the FCC from regulating the internet. Should either of these bills come before the full Senate, the insight and information you have given here will certainly help my staff and me more effectively look into this issue, and I thank you for your input.
Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me as I serve you in the United States Senate.
Sincerely, Bob Corker United States Senator
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