Internet Freedom in the House

Once and for all, a bill to make Net Neutrality the law made its way to Congress on Friday afternoon when Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3458).

This landmark legislation would protect Net Neutrality under the Communications Act, safeguard the future of the open Internet, and protect Internet users from discrimination by network owners that increasingly seek to control the free-flowing Web.

"The future of the Internet as we know it depends on maintaining freedom and openness online," said Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press. "This crucial legislation will help to ensure that the public -- not big phone and cable companies -- controls the fate of the Internet."

If passed, Net Neutrality would become the simple rule of the road -- protecting economic prosperity, democratic participation and free speech online. It would protect the fundamental genius of the Internet -- essentially an open network that lets everyone innovate without permission.

"If we don’t make Net Neutrality the law once and for all, we could see the innovation and promise of the Internet derailed forever," Scott said.

In the first six months of 2009, the phone and cable industry spent tens of millions of dollars to hire hundreds of lobbyists to fight the public interest and become the Internet’s gatekeepers.

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act is now squarely in their crosshairs. Expect them to crank up their P.R. machine to tear down Net Neutrality and attack its many supporters. We saw this before in 2006 -- when Net Neutrality was stripped out of legislation by a heavily mobilized army of lobbyists.

Now, with the introduction of the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009, momentum has shifted in the public’s favor.

We have a president who is an outspoken supporter of Net Neutrality, congressional leadership willing to fight for an open Internet, and a pro-Neutrality chairman newly ensconced at the FCC.

Since the fight for Net Neutrality began, more than 1.6 million Americans have picked up the phone, signed petitions, spoken out publicly and written letters to urge their members of Congress to get behind Net Neutrality.

Now, we must push this bill over the finish line. Tell your member of Congress to side with the public -- not with the corporate lobbyists -- and take a final stand for an open Internet by supporting the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2009.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good