Digital Culture

Reply from my CongressCritter

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

Jason Griffey
845 Lake ODonnell Road
Sewanee, Tennessee 37375

Dear Jason:

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.


Lincoln Davis
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.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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