Free Press Resumes Network Neutrality Push


Broadband providers should be on alert: public-interest group Free Press is renewing its push for network neutrality legislation.
Buoyed by the Obama administration's support of "the principle of network neutrality," Free Press says it is ramping up its campaign to make that neutrality the law of the land.
Free Press executive director Josh Silver, in an e-mail to supporters, said that the group is "re-engaging its coalition," comprising 850 organization, 6,000 bloggers and 1.6 million people.
Silver says coalition members will press the flesh and organize a "letter to the editor" campaign to "flood local newspapers" with stories about "why an open, accessible Internet matters."
The effort comes in the wake of the passage of the economic stimulus bill with $7.2 billion earmarked for broadband infrastructure that include openness conditions, interconnection and build-out conditions, though the former has yet to be defined.
Free Press was a major player in the push for network-neutrality legislation in the last Congress. That effort fell short, but the debate helped spotlight the issue. The FCC wound up reaffirming its openness principles, and took action against Comcast for impeding peer-to-peer traffic, sending the signal to other operators about what it would and would not consider appropriate network management.
Under the just-passed stimulus package, the FCC will be charged with coming up with a plan to extend broadband to everyone in the country.