After my post from the other day regarding the petition for net neutrality, and my participation in emailing my Congressman, I received this today:
May 5, 2006
845 Lake ODonnell Road
Sewanee, Tennessee 37375
Thank you for recently contacting me to share your views on the network neutrality telecommunications issue. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to contact me.
As you may know, the Congress is preparing to take up the Telecommunications Act reauthorization bill sometime this year. The Telecomm Rewrite, as it is known, has not been adjusted or updated since it’s original drafting in 1996. It is amazing to think about how much has changed since 1996 in the way of telecommunications- cell phones were “mobile phones” that were expensive to use and still took the backseat to traditional land line services, more often than not without service in rural areas, the internet was one fraction the information highway it is today, and much slower, and the concept of digital television or making telephone calls through your computer (known as VOIP or Voice over Internet Protocol) was nearly unheard of. We have made great strides in our telecommunications advancements.
We must not take these advancements for granted, however. As you say, the internet is a critical communications and educational tool. As Congress begins its work on the Telecommunications Act reauthorization, I will be looking out for the very concerns you mention. We must work to preserve fairness and equality to access. There are many provisions and loopholes that will require careful examination during the re-write of the legislation. I will be sure to thoroughly analyze the contents of the bill and weigh them against the interests of my constituency. As the Representative serving the fourth most rural district in the House of Representatives, I have a keen responsibility to protect and represent the small, rural folks and not the corporations. I guarantee you that I will not be beholden to the wishes of Corporate America as we work on this bill and I will work to preserve fair and non-discriminatory policies in the Telecommunications Act.
Again, thank you for contacting me. My door is always open.
Member of Congress
While I’m completely certain I understand the importance of network neutrality in a much more detailed way than does Congressman Davis, I appreciate the response. It at least shows that he (or his aid) is aware of the issue.