Net Neutrality: Bus Trip to the Bush School of Government
By Nick Cooper and Harbeer Sandhu
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is holding an open forum on Net Neutrality at Texas A&M University in College Station on Tues., Oct. 21. The folks at freepress.net say about this opportunity, “Commissioners rarely leave Washington to meet with the public, and as of now this event is the only one of its kind on the calendar.” A free bus ticket will be provided for people in Houston to sign up to travel to College Station on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 a.m. and return around 2:30 p.m. Meet the bus in the parking lot for First Presbyterian Church, 5300 Main Street, 77004, across from the Museum of Fine Arts.
What is Net Neutrality? Here is an email about it from local Congressman Ted Poe:
There have been debates recently on whether or not broadband internet should be considered a public utility, similar to water or electricity…Some believe that turning broadband into a public utility would guarantee net neutrality (the idea that all internet traffic, regardless of type, should be treated equally), while others believe that allowing the government to regulate the internet would hinder the entity’s competitive nature, and decrease room for expansion.
Broadband providers naturally agree that official recognition of the internet as a public utility should never occur, as they believe it will quash both innovation and investment. Those who are in favor of a reclassification argue that broadband has become a natural monopoly over time, therefore government regulation wouldn’t damage competitive markets regardless.
In May of 2013, H.R. 1580, a bill that I cosponsored, passed the House unanimously. This bill declares that it is the policy of the United States to “preserve and advance the successful model that governs the internet.” I will continue to support legislation that is in favor of an open, unregulated internet that promotes freedom of speech, and will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind should legislation regarding this issue come to the House floor for a vote. [Emphasis added.]
We, here at Free Press Houston, believe in net neutrality. Without Net Neutrality, the internet will look more like broadcast television, with only a few big companies providing most of the programming and the rest of it being dumb infomercials.
Do you want dumb informercials all day on the internet? No? Then get on the bus. It’s free. You get to have fun with your friends. And a sandwich.
Wait, let’s go back to Ted Poe’s words. He says that his bill (which would repeal Net Neutrality) “declares that it is the policy of the United States to ‘preserve and advance the successful model that governs the internet.'” I don’t know about you, but when I read “preserve…the successful model,” I assume no changes are being made. Nope. Ted Poe is lying. His bill proposes changes, it is not “preserving the successful model” that we already have.
He then adds, “I…support…an open, unregulated internet that promotes freedom of speech…” but an “unregulated internet” will not promote free speech, it will favor corporate speech.
Did we mention that there’s sandwiches? And it’s free? How about this, I hereby give you permission to punch anybody who sings “The Wheels on the Bus.” Now you want to go, yes?
Do it. Now. And tell your friends.