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Congressman Gary Ackerman Responds On Net Neutrality

Posted in Editorials on January 12th, 2011

I mailed this letter to Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) on December 28, 2010. I received this response (via email) on January 10. Kudos to him and his staff for keeping good records (I did not include my email address in my letter but I have sent him emails before on issues that included my home address as proof I was a constituent.)

I am posting this because I want to encourage others to write to their members of Congress – you might get a response! Also, I wanted to acknowledge Congressman Ackerman for his fast response and highlight his position on Net Neutrality.

Thank you for contacting me to express your views about government regulation of the internet. I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with you on this important issue.

The internet has transformed the way we communicate and share knowledge; it has spread information, spurred innovation, and connected the world in ways that were inconceivable just over a decade ago. Like no other advancement in history, the internet has become an indispensible ingredient of our education, our culture, and our democracy.

To ensure continued access to, and increased content on, the internet, it is absolutely essential that the flow of information over the internet is kept free. Unfortunately, under current law, internet providers are able to restrict the flow of online content that competes with the other services they offer. For example, this past summer, one national company began charging their customers based on bandwidth usage, limiting users’ ability to stream videos. Another large provider was recently exposed for restricting the connection speed of any users engaging in file sharing.

Fortunately, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has proposed regulation codifying six principles of so-called “net neutrality” to ensure that the internet remains an open forum over which information and ideas are spread free of discrimination. The proposed regulation would forbid providers from giving preference to certain types of material and force them to disclose any restrictions they place on their customers’ online usage. I strongly support the administration’s continuing efforts to promote net neutrality and internet freedom and will continue to advocate for its implementation.

Once again, thank you for contacting me. Of course, if I can be of any further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Member of Congress

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