Update a few minutes later: Here is the actual text of the Internet Freedom Preservation Act (PDF) in case you’re up for reading some legalese (or can’t get to sleep).
Possibly in an attempt to make himself more tech friendly, North Dakota’s Byran Dorgan has introduced a Net Neutrality bill to the Senate along with Olympia J. Snowe of Maine. The New York Times has an article about it, though they incorrectly list Dorgan as being from South Dakota instead of North Dakota:
If you’re not familiar with Net Neutrality, it basically boils down to keeping the Internet the way it is now, where data I send to you has equal “rights” as that sent from a big corporation. What phone and cable companies would like to do is provide “tiered” service, where their voice, data, and videos would get preferential treatment over packets from Skype, Vonage, YouTube, iTunes, etc. In short, Net Neutrality would keep everyone on a level playing field.
If you’re interested in reading more background, here are a few good links:
- Net Neutrality on Wikipedia
- Google’s Net Neutrality Guide
- Ask A Ninja: Special Delivery 4 “Net Neutrality” (pretty funny)
So, for as hard of a time as I give Senator Dorgan and North Dakota’s other Congressmen, I applaud him for pushing for this. It’s an important step that needs to be taken to protect innovation and small businesses.
I also thank him for not making a complete ass of himself over this issue like Senator Ted Stevens did back in June. If you didn’t hear about his “series of tubes” comment on the floor of the Senate, check out the Wikipedia article on the event, complete with audio clips. It’s classic.