Steve Russel and Net Neutrality

Dear Mr. Harkness,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about net neutrality.  I appreciate the time you took to contact me.

“Net neutrality” refers to the concept that Internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all data traveling over their network equally in terms of hosting rates and speeds of service. In 2005, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that broadband Internet service is not a “telecommunications service,” and therefore not subject to existing FCC rules that prohibit variations in rates and services.

Despite ruling that ISPs are not telecom companies, the FCC adopted rules to regulate how ISPs handle Internet traffic.  These “open internet” rules banned broadband providers from blocking or discriminating against online content based on user, source, or application. In Verizon v. FCC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down these FCC rules that regulate ISPs’ data. Verizon successfully claimed that the FCC lacked jurisdiction over broadband service.

The FCC continues to fight to make the Internet a public utility and subject to government regulation.  On Feb. 26, 2015, the full commission will vote on a new proposal to reclassify the Internet as a telecommunication service, which would allow FCC oversight, instead of an information service. The FCC is proposing to regulate ISPs under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  Title II authorizes the FCC to regulate telecommunications carriers, despite prior rulings stating that ISPs are not “telecommunication services.”

I believe that regulating the Internet is no different than regulating the press; both are protected by the First Amendment.  The First Amendment is a means to limit government power and shield citizens from government intrusion.  This regulation is explicitly unconstitutional, and it sets a dangerous precedent for future government overreaches.

So-called “net neutrality” also inhibits the Internet service market from functioning freely.  I believe that ISPs like Comcast and Verizon should be permitted to innovate and adjust prices as the market fluctuates.  Businesses are already laden with government-inflicted overregulation, and I will not contribute to further overreach through imposing net neutrality by regulating ISPs under the FCC’s Title II authority.  As legislation regarding Internet regulation and telecommunications policy comes before the House for a vote, I will continue to keep your thoughts in mind.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your opinions and concerns with me.  Please visit my website to send another message, read my positions on major issues, and sign up for my E-Newsletter.  I look forward to hearing from you again soon.  It is an honor to be your voice in Congress.

Sincerely,
Steve Russell
Member of Congress

It is official, Steve Russell is against Net Neutrality.

I’m sure Steve understands this, so I don’t have to explain it to him, but if you’re confused, let me explain it to you.

What Steve is proposing here is that the government should not medal in the business of the internet and allow corporations their freedom of free speech while restricting our freedom of free speech.

Let me explain.  It is proposed that internet service providers are allowed to have two or more lanes.  Fast lanes are the lanes for corporations who can pay more and slower lanes are for the rest of us who can’t pay so much.  So corporate sites will load so much faster while our lanes will not load so fast.

Its like politics.  Corporations can afford to buy politicians for us to vote for.  We can’t pay so much, so we just get to vote for the politicians they prop up for us.

This is only because corporations have rights.  We care about the rights of corporations because corporations pay those big campaign contributions.  We don’t care so much about non corporation people like you and I, because we can’t pay so much, so we’re not so important.

So in other words money talks and the rest of us who don’t have a lot of money, we don’t have a lot of free speech.

Steve – I know you are a veteran like myself.  We both took an oath to protect the constitution and I’m sorry you decided to break that oath and sell out to the corporations.

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