Maine Politicians Sound Off on Net Neutrality

September 7, 2010 -

The Bangor Daily News has an interesting report on net neutrality and where Maine's top politicians stand on the FCC's plan to reclassify broadband and mobile services under Title II of the Communications Act.

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told the paper that she is "very concerned" with what the FCC plans and that it bothers her that the Internet could have "multiple lanes" where large companies could get preferential treatment.

Here's more from the moderate Republican Senator:

"I am very concerned about the direction the FCC is taking," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "It also seems to me that the chairman is exceeding his authority and that these issues are fundamental policy issues that should be decided by Congress."

Second District Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) also voiced concern that more rural areas of the country will be left behind as Internet providers cater to larger markets.

"I am adamantly opposed to the FCC, or any other regulatory agency, that might be moving forward and implementing through the rule process, something that could be detrimental to Maine," he said.

Michaud also finds it "disturbing" that the FCC is holding closed-door discussions with big Internet companies.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the FCC, said that Congress may have to act to update the 1996 Telecommunications Act and "specifically spell out: what authority the FCC has."

"Because of the rapid development of new technologies, voice and video and data, it has become critical to try and manage those networks," she said, "but, at the same time, preserve the nondiscrimination principles and making sure there are reasonable practices in place that do not inhibit the ability of the average person to use the Internet as they are accustomed to do today."

First District Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, proclaimed herself "a strong supporter of Net neutrality" and said that "the FCC should not undercut the principle in its negotiations with Internet companies."

"I defiantly [sic] think that Congress should mandate this," she said, "I just think it is a fundamental principle. The Internet has become phenomenally important in how we do business, how we access information, how we educate ourselves."

Pingree hopes the House will have a bill to deal with the issues this fall, though the mid-term elections will probably interfere with most legislation this fall.

Source: Bangor Daily News

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Comments

Re: Maine Politicians Sound Off on Net Neutrality

"Second District Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) also voiced concern that more rural areas of the country will be left behind as Internet providers cater to larger markets."

Isn't it already like this?

Re: Maine Politicians Sound Off on Net Neutrality

I think he means even moreso. I'm in a rural area myself. My phone company (A Co-Op) provides the broadband net access here, but in other parts of the country it'll be like getting cable outside the city limits- You are not getting it without a dish.

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