H.R.5353 - Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008

To establish broadband policy and direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a proceeding and public broadband summits to assess competition, consumer protection, and consumer choice issues relating to broadband Internet access services, and for other purposes. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 as introduced.
  • Popular: Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 as .
  • Official: To establish broadband policy and direct the Federal Communications Commission to conduct a proceeding and public broadband summits to assess competition, consumer protection, and consumer choice issues relating to broadband Internet access services, and for other purposes. as introduced.

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LakeSolon 02/14/2008 7:40pm

The full text is actually very short so I encourage you to read its entirety.

It has three main points:

First to amend the 1934 Communications Act to include some policies which state that “to maintain the freedom to use for lawful purposes broadband telecommunications networks, including the Internet, without unreasonable interference from or discrimination by network operators” is a good thing. And similar statements.

Second to require the FCC to assess various things such as how harmful the restrictions providers apply to a user’s network connection are. F’ex Comcast forging ‘reset’ packets to break BitTorrent.

Third to require the FCC to hold multiple summits on the topic, include a wide range of input (including on the internet as well as live events), and report the results to congress.

I actually think it’s a reasonable conservative step forward on what is an extremely complicated issue. I’m for it.

Sparhawk2k 02/13/2008 5:35pm

Ok, so I for Network Neutrality in general and if this is the best they can do right now I guess it might be a good start. I’m just worried about this being passed and then held up as an excuse for not needing anything better later. And I have seen some arguments showing that putting it in the hands of the FCC could allow them to respond quicker to adapt to what is needed. That’s assuming we have somebody in the FCC who will actually do something though…

jdawkins 09/30/2008 8:44am

I voted nay. Here’s why:

I see the potential in the language for the government to censor content delivered via the Internet by deem it unlawful. See the language in section 4.2 paragraph A items i and ii. This language sounds good until something important to you is deemed unlawful – such as the free exchange of ideas that is vital to a free society.

It’s all fun and games until someone’s eye gets poked out … or their civil liberties revoked.

Let the free market regulate and ensure that the consumers interest is upheld. It’s up to you and I to protect ourselves from service providers who don’t have our best interests in mind.

mwilkinson 08/05/2008 10:08am

This bill is a step in the right direction to protect Net Neutrality. I will be against any legislation that threatens Net Neutrality and I will support any legislation that protects it. So it’s sort of worthless to argue over how much effect this bill will have. What we have to do is support Net Neutrality so that the ISPs cannot burn it to the ground.

Anonymous 03/10/2008 8:45pm

The intentions of the congressman are doubtlessly good in this one, but as said prior, it is short, which means its full of holes. I suppose there is purpose in this because if any specificity were added to what FCC were allowed to do the bill would have no chance of getting through.
As it stands, interest would still be able to exploit this regulation as it leaves much up to the decisions of those who judge actions taken by communications companies.
They most certainly have ‘friends’ in the FCC.
Further specification must by made IF this manages to get through despite certain ‘friends’
which of course means we need to continue to pressure congress.
Good Luck all

Blazecc 04/03/2008 5:06pm
in reply to LakeSolon Feb 17, 2008 11:33am

With recent advances, Satellite internet is available in massive percentages of the continental US.

Even if this were not true, Comcast (My VERY bed provider BTW) and other such companies should not be able to control applications I use. I pay for the speed of the connection coming into my house, why should they be able to burn the candle at both ends and charge the content providers FOR THE SAME SPEED?

On a separate note, I think Comcast, etc are biting off more than they can chew here. Many people most strongly supporting Net Neutrality are the people who can and do use their computers both more and for ‘higher end’ purposes. IF they start ‘tiering’ the internet, you can bet this particular Computer Science Major will find an alternative.

Anonymous 07/02/2008 9:27pm

I see this as a ploy to determine whether or not we can be fooled into allowing “someone” to regulate anything. Let’s leave as is. Any move at all is a move to regulate. No, please, no!

ComputrGeek 02/24/2008 7:18am

This bill is nothing more put a feather in the cap of the writer. It’s so vague and powerless it’s nothing more than a statement of intent.

While I’d like to chalk it up a step in the right direction, I’m not sure it even makes a step.

luigibai 02/14/2008 4:03am

I can’t say I trust this FCC to act in the interests of the consumer. That said, if they’re given a specific enough mandate, they can be sued into action if necessary, or Congress can always pass more legislation to force their hand.

LakeSolon 02/17/2008 11:33am

geos -

I am also in support of investment in access to rural citizens. The oft-lauded promise of the great democratization of the internet only holds if all people have viable access.

However I see this organization’s response as analogous to being opposed to legislation to ensure the stop lights in town don’t malfunction because there aren’t enough roads outside of town. They’re both about the same infrastructure, and they both need attention, but they’re not mutually exclusive.

HeldenTenor 12/22/2008 3:26pm
in reply to jdawkins Sep 30, 2008 8:44am

I also voted nay for same stated reasons.

brianb 04/07/2009 10:23am

As has been shown countless times, allowing private industries a firm hand over any area is allowing them to call the the shots. If you vote nay for this bill and state reasons of free market economics you are deluding yourself. If you think people won’t swallow ISP’s horse s*, you are sorely mistaken. In all likelihood they will never even know. Case in point, how many of your average fellow-citizens are aware that Comcast throttles users internet speeds based on their usage? Already we are not receiving the services that we pay for.

geos 02/17/2008 4:24pm

no, what the Grange is saying is that “we will support the telco’s in their quest to extract more profit from the internet backbone if they promise to invest some of that profit in expanded rural access.”

my point is that instituting a regulatory environment which restricts the profits of the companies without appropriate subsidy isn’t doing anyone any favors: you assume that market incentives are going to lead to expanded bandwidth and access but you can already see that in comparison to other countries with stronger government involvement this isn’t happening in the US. i’m would be all for re-nationalizing the internet backbone, but that isn’t happening any time soon.

if your goal is an open internet accessible to everyone then you are going to have to put public money where your mouth is, and in this world, you are going to be giving that money to the backbone providers. the status quo is a de facto tiered system: with urban/wealthy areas getting fiber while the net stagnates everywhere else.

textdog 02/27/2008 4:41pm

Does the current FCC hearing, held this past Monday on 2/25/08, have anything to do with this bill?

textdog 02/27/2008 4:42pm

Also, see this: http://www.getmiro.com/blog/2008/02/comcast-secretly-pays-people-to-fill-seats-at-fcc-hearing/

geos 02/17/2008 9:39am

Grange comes out against Markey Bill:


the issue is really the same as when Clinton/Gore privatized the internet: are market incentives really sufficient to insure adequate investment in both access and bandwith?

it seems the answer is fairly clear: absent a permanent tech investment bubble, if the federal government wants an open internet accessible to everyone it is going to have to pay for it. the net backbone has really become a utility, like the electric power grid. if you have heavy regulatory requirements you will also need a seperate regulatory environment to insure investment and direct and indirect subsidies. a deregulated internet will never be ‘open.’

but read the Grange news release: rural access to broadband really is spotty and don’t think that the telco’s won’t try to tie tiered pricing and associated profits to investment in rural access to either get a bill through congress or prevent passage of bills like Markey’s. as long as there is a senate, you are going to have to appease all those small states.

Anonymous 10/10/2008 7:17pm

Always Vote and anyone that tries to reduce availability will be replaced. Remember, when they move against the open internet they will awaken a sleeping giant of internet users that will not stand for lesser options than they now enjoy. Internet users are a greater force than they realize. If changes caused by over site are not more empowering to the internet user then the overseers will feel the empowering voting wrath of those same users.

Anonymous 03/09/2008 9:08am

This is no joke.
There are COUNTLESS examples of over the past eight years of how businesses / various industries pay lobbyists to build bills, wherein the company gains rights to be unfair in their own accountability and exploitation of their customers. Utility companies are deregulated, insurance companies are allowed to increase premiums and reduce coverage, banks are allowed to charge 20% or more on loans (at one time called Usury). The Internet is just another examples of an industry taking advantage of the political climate changing rules so they are unwatched, and gain profits by doing so. A great example are the gasoline prices. We no longer build refineries (due to environmental pollution) in order to put a premium on gasoline imports, in turn giving more profit potential for oil companies. The local stations are all in collusion with each other to lift prices and make more profits. Are there regulations to protect the consumer on this? Yes. Are they honestly enforced? No. Those claims are stonewalled. Complainers today do not give money to the regulators. Corporations are bought off, and say to the US Congress, “Prove it!”

The same is true here.
The Internet is being built out by these ISP’s and in a way, they are now privatized and there is not enough clear protection to help citizens. The congress should stonewall these companies from allowing these ISP’s the ability to stop client / citizen legal defense. The EFF is trying to help, and ICANN should additionally assist in helping. But they are not given enough government funding. I would personally feel fine with being taxed through my Internet connection and usage to be taxed in a way that gives money to these consumer advocacy groups. But this kind of group needs to be watched like the Supreme Court is watched. With checks and Balances.

Moderated Comment

HeldenTenor 12/22/2008 3:30pm
in reply to mwilkinson Aug 05, 2008 10:08am

The purpose of regulating anything is to control how it functions and operates. That is the antithesis of neutrality. equality does not equal neutrality. This bill title is also misnomer. What freedom are they really protecting?

mitchpamf 02/06/2009 3:29am

Highly suspect. Is this a Trojan Horse bill? Look at the sponsor’s and co-sponsor’s stand on Freedom of Speech and think very hard before voting yes for this bill.

davidmoore 07/15/2008 7:24am
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