U. S. Senator Michael Bennet responds to my letter urging him to support Net Neutrality and help the FCC in reversing recent legislation:
"March 13, 2014
Thank you for contacting me regarding net neutrality. I appreciate hearing from you.
The core idea of net neutrality is that internet network owners should not either favor or discriminate against the content that they carry. The internet is the gateway to economic development and opportunity in this century. I believe that the internet is fundamental to the free exchange of ideas, the health of our democracy and the future of innovation.
In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a net neutrality order that made it unlawful to prevent access to or slow down traffic to any legal online content. A court challenge to the new rules was filed by Verizon Communications, calling into question the FCC's authority to enforce these rules. On January 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the 2010 FCC ruling.
On February 3, 2014, Sen. Edward J. Markey from Maryland introduced the Open Internet Preservation Act (S. 1981). This bill would restore the 2010 rules until the FCC takes new action. S. 1981 has since been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Although I am not a member of this Committee, I will keep your thoughts and concerns in mind should this bill come before the full Senate.
I value the input of fellow Coloradans in considering the wide variety of important issues and legislative initiatives that come before the Senate. I hope you will continue to inform me of your thoughts and concerns.
For more information about my priorities as a U.S. Senator, I invite you to visit my website at http://bennet.senate.gov/. Again, thank you for contacting me.
Michael F. Bennet
United States Senator
It's always important to note that I do appreciate Senator Bennet's (staff) response. It's nice to know that someone is hearing you, someone is reading your concerns even if there's little control over the situation. I have few illusions of Sen. Bennet sitting at his desk, being moved by my words, and personally contacting The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to urge them to preserve the internet.
However, you never know where the aid handling his mail will end up. If the aid is forced to read my thoughts and generate a response, maybe the issue will resonate? Maybe if their career leads them to a place of power and influence, they will remember their time in Bennet's office and the voice of the people. Maybe. Hope. Optimism.
Sen. Bennet seems to at least understand what Net Neutrality is and the enormous ramifications that could take place if this issue isn't resolved. He also provided current and relevant information regarding the status of the issue- Maryland Senator Markey initiating the Open Internet Preservation Act, a temporary fix until the FCC steps up. That's the most direct, relevant, and intelligent response I've received throughout this entire process. His letter wasn't full of rhetoric, and that's a breath of fresh air.
The portion that still concerns me isn't the lack of resolution, because I never expected any, but that our representatives aren't calling Net Neutrality what it is- a tragic threat of our 1st Amendment rights. Sen. Bennet comes close in the first paragraph but he still leaves the door wide open for ISP's. It's a very simple, black and white situation but our politicians are leaving a lot of wiggle room for a mediocre compromise.
To those who read this, keep pushing this issue. Just because it's not making headlines doesn't mean it's not important or has gone away. I can't stress enough how your voice, the way the world communicates, is on the brink of being lost… Transformed by money and silencing those without it.