Coalition Opposes "Network Neutrality"
September 6, 2006
A coalition including the Discovery Institute sent the following letter to members of the United States Senate opposing "network neutrality" proposals.
Earlier this year, we wrote you outlining our concerns about the effects of network neutrality proposals that have been discussed in the U.S. Senate. Communicating with our constituencies is of the utmost importance to us and is an invaluable tool as we seek to broaden our message on issues that are important to our nation’s culture. Any legislative action that could prevent or impede our use of the Internet would certainly be damaging to our efforts. Fortunately, the Senate Commerce Committee recently resisted attempts by Senators who wanted to regulate the Internet, but rather, included language that would specifically protect our ability to communicate our message.
The Internet is one of our greatest resources and allows us to effectively communicate our message to a global audience. However, the Internet has opened the door to the spread of content which many find objectionable, such as pornography and gratuitous violence. This has challenged parents all across America who seek the ability to monitor their children's access and exposure to offensive subject matter. However, with the creation of new technologies and increased competition among content service providers, many broadband providers have given parents a wide range of tools to control the flow of inappropriate content into their homes. Moreover, thanks to this competition and innovation, the Internet has presented the parents in our constituencies with a great opportunity to use the advances in technology to embrace more freedom and involvement in the education of their children.
Telecommunications and cable companies have spent billions of dollars creating the high-speed networks we know as broadband. They are spending billions more to build new fiber networks which will extend broadband access to more Americans and help the Internet to continue to grow and innovate. These new networks will create a system that will allow for more sophisticated content (like video streaming) to move even faster than it does today, and to allow more of it to travel to Americans and others across the globe.
Unfortunately, some major Internet content-provider companies and 3rd party advocacy groups have politicized this issue and are using fear and hyperbole to encourage Congress to pass so-called “network neutrality” regulations that would do nothing more than stifle innovation. Their claims are based on the premise that broadband providers will block content and discriminate against information they don't agree with - therefore, they must be regulated. We believe it more likely that such network neutrality regulations will actually discourage broadband providers from continuing to enhance the flow and security of online communication. We encourage you to oppose such onerous network neutrality proposals.
We thank you for your time and for your service to the American people in the United States Senate.
American Coalition for Fathers & Children
Americans for Tax Reform
Center for Moral Clarity
Faith 2 Action
Institute on Religion & Democracy
Massachusetts Family Institute
Morality in Media
Religious Freedom Coalition
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Traditional Values Coalition
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