updated 12:45 pm EST, Wed February 13, 2008
New net neutrality law
A new law backing net neutrality has been proposed by a member of the US House of Representatives, the Associated Press writes. The bill was introduced by Democrat Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, who is also the chairman of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet. Called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, it would require the FCC to determine whether Internet providers are "blocking, thwarting or unreasonably interfering" with rights to send or access data.
Additionally, the bill would examine whether ISPs unlawfully charge extra for some services, and call for at least eight summits across the US to gain input on Internet services and their competition. It should "ensure that the historic, open architecture nature of the Internet will be preserved and fostered for the consumers, content providers and high tech innovators of the future," Markey says.
The legislation was reportedly directly inspired by companies such as Comcast, which has openly admitted to sabotaging BitTorrent traffic in order to control bandwidth and avoid investing in better infrastructure. The FCC is actively investigating the company, and may fine it by as much as $195,000 for each affected customer.