Mike Ross and 'net neutrality' (UPDATE) | Arkansas Blog

Mike Ross and 'net neutrality' (UPDATE)

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The Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act is being considered by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce committee, of which U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is a member.

The bill would allow big communications companies to control your access to the Internet (the way cable companies control access to cable TV and local telephone companies control access to phone lines). As Common Cause describes it:

Net neutrality is the principle that you should be able to access whatever web content or services you choose, without any interference from your Internet service provider.  Right now, no law or rule protects citizens facing obstacles to getting access to the information on the Internet.  The COPE bill would make it impossible for those protections to be written into law or rule, making all of us vulnerable to big companies who would like to "own" the Internet and mine it for profit. Some companies like Verizon and Comcast have already announced plans to create a two-tiered Internet, where some websites and services would travel in the "fast lane" - for a fee, of course - and the rest would be relegated to a "slow lane."

Daily Kos says that Rep. Ross is one of four Democratic committee members who are on the fence, and the blog is urging interested citizens to tell him, "Please protect internet freedom from corporate interests by voting for Ed Markey's amendment on network neutrality."

UPDATE: The Markey amendment was defeated, but Ross voted for it.

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