Opponents of network neutrality are criticizing a bill introduced this week by Senators Olympia Snowe, (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.). The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2007 would prevent broadband service providers from prioritizing some Internet content, applications, or services over other content, applications, or services. Hands Off the Internet co-chairs Mike McCurry and Christopher Wolf issued a joint statement saying the bill would benefit large content companies like Google, eBay, and Amazon, while forcing consumers to bear the burden of the cost of upgrading U.S. communications networks. Verizon and other network providers are also critical of the bill.
"It's disappointing that Senators Snowe and Dorgan would introduce essentially the same bill to regulate the Internet that went down to such decisive defeat in Congress last June," they said. "With America lagging many of our economic competitors in broadband deployment, Congress' focus should instead be on spurring affordable high-speed deployment. And, as numerous opponents of neutrality regulations, including the Communications Workers of America, have correctly noted, promoting deployment, not cumbersome new regulation, is the key to economic growth and job creation." Hands Off the Internet -- whose members include Alcatel, AT&T, the National Association of Manufacturers, hardware manufacturers, Citizens Against Government Waste, the American Conservative Union and the National Black Chamber of Commerce -- pointed out that a 269-152 vote defeated a network neutrality bill in Congress last year. A similar attempt for statewide neutrality legislation failed in Michigan.