Magazine article University Business

Bill Aims to Protect Open 'Net

Magazine article University Business

Bill Aims to Protect Open 'Net

Article excerpt

A BILL THAT WOULD PROTECT the fundamental principles of the internet has earned support from education groups as well as dozens of internet companies. Introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the bill ensures "net neutrality," or the idea that no one enterprise has more control over access to bandwidth than any other.

Wyden's bill (S.2360) comes on the heels of proposals by telecomm companies to begin charging ISPs and commercial services for access to the internet. Opponents say this practice would introduce unfair advantages for ISPs that can afford to pay, and lead to preferential treatment (and faster speeds) to some content providers over others. For colleges and universities, such a move could hinder research and prevent them from delivering high-quality multimedia instructional material to students, on- and off-campus and in rural areas. In addition, the bill would allow further development of Voice over Internet Protocol services. In one case a telecomm company tried to block VoIP capabilities on its broadband service, claiming it hurt their telephone profits.

"It's wrong to create an information superhighway that's strewn with discriminatory hurdles," said Wyden, introducing the legislation. …

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