Congressman Delahunt on Net Neutrality

I called Bill Delahunt’s office and sent him emails in support of net neutrality.

I received this response by email a few days ago. I’m entering it here for the record, without comment. I may comment on it later, and would be interested in what you think of it (espescially in the case where “you” == Harold Feld).

Dear Friend:

Thank you for your email message in support of net neutrality legislation.
I appreciate the benefit of your views, and wanted to take a moment to
explain my vote of “present” during last week’s consideration of the
Sensenbrenner-Conyers bill in the House Judiciary Committee.

First, I support keeping cyberspace free and open to all. As a member of
the House International Relations Committee, I’ve seen how the Internet has
made it possible to bridge cultural and political differences that exist.
As a father, email made it possible for me to keep in touch with my daughter
while she was working overseas in Spain – and helped me to make sure that
she was safe after the Madrid terrorist bombings.

To listen to some of the interested parties on both sides of this issue, net
neutrality is a cut and dry case. But I have to tell you, this is a much
more complicated than their talking points suggest.

From my time on the Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the House
Judiciary Committee, I am familiar with the potential implications of
tinkering with the Internet and advancements in technology. I can tell you,
honestly, that I never cease to be amazed by the innovations developed over
the last decade by American companies in the markets this bill would impact
the most. Because of that, I believe that Congress should weigh this issue
carefully, so as not to react in a way that could harm a booming sector of
the economy.

Frankly, I felt that we just haven’t had the kind of hearings in the
Judiciary Committee that are warranted for an issue of this importance and
complexity. Partisan gamesmanship can only cloud the situation.

My vote was intended to protest the lack of attention this issue has
received. I am hopeful that in the coming weeks, Congress will provide a
forum for all those interested in commenting on the issue of net neutrality
to be heard – from online users to organized labor and yes, even the
telecommunications industry. This issue deserves no less. Free and open
debate is clearly the right way to proceed, both here and online.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to keep your thoughts in mind, and look for
ways to keep the internet free and open to all. Again, thanks for taking
the time to get in touch.


Bill Delahunt

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