Monday, June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

I received a number of letters from various Politicians the last few weeks. It's interesting as many say the same thing. Politicians are aware of a growing concern by their constituents that the Internet is in trouble. Yet they seem to move rather slow in fixing the problem. If we had our roads privately held and problems were cropping up every week, we would see decisive and immediate action. I'm not talking about the infrequent pot hole here.

People in and out of Utah are contacting me stating they received "The Call" and asking what can they do. I'm asking everyone whether a resident of Utah or not to contact Senator Hatch, Senator Bennett and Representative Chris Cannon. Tell them how you feel about the problems with monopolies (in some cases duopolies). Don't forget to remind them it's important for our future as a country to have high speed Internet everywhere.

Finding your Senators and Representatives is easy. Tell him how you feel. In many cases you can easily send them a letter quickly online from their web site (the web sites are usually linked to their name, try it). It's your right and privilege to tell them what is on your mind. After all, America just dropped in broadband penetration from 12th place to 24th place. We're losing ground fast. Countries such as Australia understand how important the Internet is.

I think Orrin Hatch is closer to understanding that people are being harmed and discriminated by some private companies.

So, without further comment.

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about network neutrality legislation. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you are aware, S. 215, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, was introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan on January 9, 2007, and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. S. 215 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to establish certain Internet neutrality duties for broadband service providers, including not interfering with, or discriminating against, the ability of any person to use broadband service in a lawful manner. This law is intended to promote competition and ensure consumers are not harmed by the actions of large telecommunications companies.

As a longtime advocate for competition and fairness to consumers, I believe competition yields several important advantages to consumers, including lower prices, higher quality services, and more responsive customer service. Our nation has always placed a premium on the many benefits made possible when companies compete on a fair playing field.

I believe it is important for telecommunications providers to ensure they do not and will not discriminate against consumers. I am hopeful the Federal government will not be forced to take too active a role in prescribing what can and can't be done on private networks around the country as I believe in fostering competitive integrity in the offering of broadband and video services. However, telecommunications companies are deregulated and are therefore subject to antitrust laws which regulate anti-competitive behavior in the U.S. Should these laws prove to be ineffective at protecting consumers, I will not hesitate to take action, especially if market imbalances begin to manifest themselves. Again, thank you for writing.


Orrin G. Hatch.
United States Senator.