WASHINGTON, May 18 /U.S. Newswire/ — House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), along with Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and others, today introduced bipartisan legislation to preserve Internet freedom and competition. Over the last decade, the Internet has revolutionized the manner in which Americans access and transmit a broad range of information and consume goods. The advent of high speed (broadband) Internet access has dramatically enhanced the ability of Americans to access this medium and has been a catalyst for innovation and competition. H.R. 5417, the “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006,” would ensure competitive and nondiscriminatory access to the Internet.
Chairman Sensenbrenner remarked, “This legislation is a necessary step to protect consumers and other Internet users from possible anti-competitive and discriminatory conduct by broadband providers. The FCC recently reported that 98 percent of American consumers get their high speed broadband from either a cable company or a DSL provider. This virtual duopoly creates an environment that is ripe for anti-competitive abuses, and for which a clear antitrust remedy is urgently needed.”
“This legislation will provide an insurance policy for Internet users against being harmed by broadband network operators abusing their market power to discriminate against content and service providers. While I am not opposed to providers responsibly managing their networks and providing increased bandwidth to those consumers who wish to pay for it, I am opposed to providers giving faster, more efficient access to certain service providers at the expense of others. This legislation will ensure that this type of discriminatory behavior will not take place, and will help to continue the tradition of innovation and competition that has defined the Internet,” continued Chairman Sensenbrenner.