Democrats slam internet 'fast lane'

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Four democratic representatives have attacked the network neutrality plan submitted by Google and Verizon, adding to the storm over the proposal.

Edward Markey, Anna Eshoo, Mike Doyle and Jay Inslee have written a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, criticizing the plan.

They are particularly critical of suggestions that certain internet content could be prioritized - a so-called 'fast lane'.

"No private interest should be permitted to carve up the internet to suit its own purposes," said Markey. 

"The open Internet has been an innovation engine that has helped power our economy, and fiber-optic fast lanes or tiers that slow down certain content would dim the future of the internet to the detriment of consumers, competition, job creation and the free-flow of ideas."

The representatives also repeated calls for wireless services to be made subject to the same rules as fixed wire broadband.

"Exclusion of wireless services from open internet requirements could widen the digital divide by establishing a substandard, less open experience for traditionally underserved regions and demographic groups that may more often need to access or choose to access the internet on a mobile device," reads the letter.

Eshoo said that, by 'cable-izing' the inernet, the proposals threatened people in his Silicon Valley district who were working on new internet technologies.

"This letter is a clear statement of the principles that we believe are necessary to preserve openness on the internet to allow the kind of innovation and growth that is the hallmark of today’s internet," he said.