Net Neutrality, Political Corruption & Corporate Power | Democracy Undone

Framing this issue as “more federal regulation” is a clever tactic…

money envelopeThis week, Senator-R Jim DeMint gave his take on Network Neutrality – I was especially amused at the assertion he has made below:

Perspective: Why Net neutrality means more federal regulation
By Jim DeMint
Published: June 27, 2006
“It would be commercial suicide for any network provider to limit the ability of their customers to access any site or receive any service: Their customers would simply go elsewhere! Consumers have a growing number of choices of networks, and this competition will force networks to continuously upgrade their services. Federal regulation, on the other hand, would only reduce the quality and access of Internet services for all Americans.”

Telco’s & industry advocates have poured hoards of money into lobbying this issue. Translation: many well compensated senators & consultants working overtime on their behalf. Information – necessary for efficient free markets – is fortunately still available on congressional members; although with such freedoms being handed over to profit driven companies, this may not long be the case.

What Motivates a Senator
Monetary incentives tend to influence many of the views which individuals hold (economics 101). Contributions by the telco’s & other various industry advocates to Senator DeMint have clearly taken their toll on his ability to be objective – this is a toll to the tune of $132,849!

Various contributors to DeMint’s coffer…you be the judge:

Exerpt from: Wyche Burgess Freeman & Parham, P.A. website – Political Contributor ($23,300)

“We have played an important role in the creation and expansion of a number of major corporations located in Greenville, among them are a large diversified media organization”

Excerpt from: Babcock & Brown offers $2.36 billion for Irish telco Eircom – Political Contributor ($28,125)

“The bid for Eircom has been made four months after a failed takeover attempt for it by Swisscom AG, Switzerland’s largest telco.”

Excerpt from: Nelson Mullins Cyberwatch Newsletter – Political Contributor ($41,424)

Internet Bandwidth Neutrality
“A growing concern among large Internet-based companies is the dilemma being faced with large bandwidth charges. Those companies that provide the wires and fiber optics that connect the Internet believe that large “bandwidth hogs” should pay additional amounts to guarantee fast and efficient connections. To prevent such a move, companies such as Google and eBay are lobbying Congress to pass a law that would maintain “Net-neutrality”. In general, they are seeking a law that would prohibit telecommunications and cable companies from blocking or slowing down access to Web sites or for charging big bandwidth users a fee for priority access. The House of Representatives recently passed telecommunications legislation that did not include such neutrality provisions. However, the law did empower the Federal Communications Commission to investigate discrimination in online bandwidth access. Opponents of the Net-neutrality law argue that somebody must pay for the huge amount of bandwidth consumed by some large Internet sites. They state that if Internet service providers are not allowed to charge for greater-than-average bandwidth use, then the cost will end up being borne by the average consumer.”

Not to mention, the all-too-obvious:
AT&T – Political Contributor ($19,000)

Verizon Communications – Political Contributor ($21,000)

Nota Bena:
You can learn more about the other side of Net Neutrality by reading the founder of the internet’s thoughts and if you choose to do so, you can help protect Network Neutrality by going here: It’s Our Net.

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