Sunday, August 27, 2006

Net neutrality, part four

4. what Congress has been doing and not doing

4.1. Barton bill - HR 5252 - The Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Bill (COPE)

4.1.1. COPE provisions - "The purpose of the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 is to promote the deployment of broadband networks and services. The bill does so by: (1) creating a streamlined, pro-competitive national process under which companies can enter the cable service market with new, advanced networks capable of providing broadband video, voice, and data services; (2) authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) to enforce its Broadband Policy Statement and the principles incorporated therein on a case-by-case basis so that consumers continue to have access to lawful content, applications, and services of their choosing that are available over the public Internet; (3) facilitating and requiring the provision of 911 and enhanced 911 (E911) services to consumers by Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) providers; (4) ensuring that municipalities have the option to provide telecommunications, information, and cable services to their communities; (5) ensuring consumers have the option to purchase broadband services on a stand-alone basis; and (6) facilitating the development of multi-function, multi-platform wireless devices capable of offering a range of converging broadband services." House Report 109-470

4.1.2. Markey amendment - House Amendment 987 - rejected 152-269 amendment text - SEC. 715. NETWORK NEUTRALITY. (a) Policy- It is the policy of the United States--

(1) to maintain and enhance the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and Internet services, upon which Internet commerce relies;

(2) to preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the Internet and consumer empowerment and choice;

(3) to foster innovation, investment, and competition among network providers, as well as application, content, and service providers;

(4) to ensure vigorous and prompt enforcement of this section's requirements to safeguard innovation, consumer protection, and marketplace certainty; and

(5) to preserve the security and reliability of the Internet and the services that enable consumers to access content, applications, and services over the Internet. (b) In General- Each broadband network provider has the duty--

(1) not to block, impair, degrade, discriminate against, or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access, use, send, receive, or offer lawful content, applications, or services over the Internet;

(2) to operate its broadband network in a nondiscriminatory manner so that any person can offer or provide content, applications, and services through, or over, such broadband network with equivalent or better capability than the provider extends to itself or affiliated parties, and without the imposition of a charge for such nondiscriminatory network operation;

(3) if the provider prioritizes or offers enhanced quality of service to data of a particular type, to prioritize or offer enhanced quality of service to all data of that type (regardless of the origin of such data) without imposing a surcharge or other consideration for such prioritization or enhanced quality of service;

(4) to enable a user to attach and use any device to the operator's network that does not physically damage, make unauthorized use of, or materially degrade other users' utilization of, the network; and

(5) to clearly and conspicuously disclose to users, in plain language, accurate information about the speed, nature, and limitations of their broadband connection. (c) Preserved Rights and Exceptions- Nothing in this section shall prevent a broadband network provider from taking reasonable and nondiscriminatory measures to--

(1) manage the functioning of its network to protect the security of such network and broadband network services, provided that such management does not depend upon the affiliation with the broadband network provider of the content, applications, or services on the network;

(2) offer varied service plans to users at defined levels of bandwidth and different prices;

(3) offer consumer protection services (including services for the prevention of unsolicited commercial electronic messages, parental controls, or other similar capabilities), or offer cable service, so long as a user may refuse or disable such services;

(4) give priority to emergency communications and telemedicine services; or

(5) prevent any violation of Federal or State law, or comply with any court-ordered law enforcement directive. how they voted on the amendment - yeas - Boucher, Moran, Scott, Wolf nays - Cantor, Jo Ann Davis, Drake, Forbes, Goode, Goodlatte

4.1.3. COPE passed the House on June 8, 2006

4.2. Markey bill - HR 5273 - "Network Neutrality Act of 2006’’ - voted down in committee

4.3. Stevens bill - S 2686 - Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006

4.3.1. summary of other provisions Communications, Consumer's Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 - Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reduce the cost of calling home for U.S. military personnel stationed outside the United States in support of military operations, training exercises, or other approved purposes. Amends the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to direct the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to allocate a portion of the funds available under such Act for: (1) making interoperable communications system equipment grants for equipment that can utilize reallocated public safety spectrum; and (2) establishing and implementing a strategic technology reserves initiative. Internet and Universal Service Act of 2006 - Requires each communications service provider to contribute to support universal service (the provision of communications service in rural, insular, and high-cost areas). Outlines requirements for distribution of universal service support to eligible communications carriers. Establishes a Broadband for Unserved Areas Account. Video Competition and Savings for Consumers Act of 2006 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to provide regulatory and franchising requirements for video services and video service providers similar to those currently applicable to cable communications operators. Requires the provision of channels for public, educational, and governmental use. Prohibits the denial of video service access because of income, race, or religion. Video Content Act - Sports Freedom Act of 2006 - Prohibits multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices to hinder or prevent other MVPDs from providing such programming or satellite broadcast programming to consumers. Digital Content Protection Act of 2006 - Directs the FCC to implement its Report and Order in the matters of: (1) Digital Broadcast Content Protection; and (2) Digital Output Protection Technology and Recording Method Certifications. Authorizes the FCC to promulgate regulations governing the indiscriminate redistribution of audio content with respect to digital and satellite radio broadcasts. Requires the FCC to establish the Digital Audio Review Board. Community Broadband Act - Amends the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to prohibit any state or local government statute, regulation, or other legal requirement from prohibiting any public provider from providing, to any person or any public or private entity, advanced communications capability or any service that utilizes the advanced communications capability provided by such provider. Provides safeguards, including that a public provider may not provide advanced communications capability to the public unless the provision of such capability by that public provider is subject to the same laws and regulations that would apply if the advanced communications capability were being provided by a nongovernmental entity. Wireless Innovation Act of 2006 or WIN Act of 2006 - Makes eligible television spectrum available for wireless use. Outlines consumer education requirements for analog television receivers, as well as requirements to reduce the government cost of the converter box program. Outlines requirements for: (1) the protection of children with respect to the video transmission of child pornography; and (2) the free flow of information over the Internet.

4.3.2. FCC study and reporting requirement on net neutrality SEC. 901. NEUTRAL NETWORKS FOR CONSUMERS.

(a) IN GENERAL- Beginning 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission shall report annually to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce for 5 years regarding--

(1) the developments in Internet traffic processing, routing, peering, transport, and interconnection;

(2) how such developments impact the free flow of information over the public Internet and the consumer experience using the public Internet;

(3) business relationships between broadband service providers and applications and online user services; and

(4) the development of and services available over public and private Internet offerings.

(b) DETERMINATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS- If the Commission determines that there are significant problems with any of the matters described in subsection (a) the Commission shall make such recommendations in its next annual report under subsection (a) as it deems necessary and appropriate to ensure that consumers can access lawful content and run Internet applications and services over the public Internet subject to the bandwidth purchased and the needs of law enforcement agencies. The Commission shall include recommendations for appropriate enforcement mechanisms but may not recommend additional rulemaking authority for the Commission.

4.3.3. Snowe-Dorgan amendment - S 2917 - would add some anti-discrimination provisions to Stevens bill

4.3.4. June 28, 2006 - Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee hearing - "The Internet is not a truck" See the video on YouTube bill passes committee without substantive net neutrality provisions, Wyden threatens filibuster Allen and other Republicans on the committee (except Snowe) refused to vote for net neutrality

4.3.5. full Senate vote stalled as Stevens supposedly lacks the 60 votes for cloture

4.4. Wyden bill - S 2360 - "Internet Non-Discrimination Act of 2006" - referred to committee

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