A new bill, co-sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI),and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) would make ISPs who fail to provide service in a non-discriminatory manner subject to anti-trust violations. The legislation requires Internet service providers to connect with the facilities of other network providers on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis. It also requires them to operate their networks in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner so that all content, applications and services are treated the same and have an equal opportunity to reach consumers. Any ISPs that do not follow these net neutrality rules would be subject to antitrust enforcement. The legislation has been praised by on line and consumer rights groups. “Americans have come to expect the Internet to be open to everyone,” Conyers said. “The Internet was designed without centralized control, without gatekeepers for content and services. If we allow companies with monopoly or duopoly power to control how the Internet operates, network providers could have the power to choose what content is available.” You may say we do not need any legislation to insure that the internet remains open as it is mostly today, but large providers are already wanting to charge big providers a fee so their content flows fast and is not hampered or restricted. Right now the internet is neutral with your blog content available to everyone at the same speeds. What would happen to your blog and its readers if the large ISP’s slowed down access to your blog to others simply because you did not have the money to fork over for premium service. I can understand tiered service levels for your access but not to the content on the web. If yahoo took forever to load and google zipped right along you soon would quit using yahoo’s services. Small content providers such as bloggers could not afford premium access so their pages could be intentionally slowed down in favor of larger sites. That is what net neutrality is all about.

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