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House Panel votes for Net Neutrality…kinda May 26, 2006

Posted by Zack W. Handley in freemarket, General Musings, netneutrality, Politics.
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CNet reports:

In an unusual twist, many members of the committee said they were
voting for the legislation not because of strong concerns over Net
neutrality–but instead because of a turf battle. They said they were
worried that a competing proposal already approved by a different committee last month would diminish their own
influence in the future.

That other bill, called the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and
Enhancement, or COPE, Act, says the Federal Communications Commission "shall have
exclusive authority" to investigate violations of Net neutrality
principles. It's backed by Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who heads
the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and does not include strict Net
neutrality mandates.

Because the FCC is overseen by Barton's committee, that proposal would
effectively cut off Judiciary Committee members from being able to hold
hearings on Net neutrality antitrust violations, give speeches about
corporate malfeasance and solicit campaign cash from affected companies–the lifeblood of modern Washington politics.

If you are not cynical about politics yet…kindly reconsider.

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