The Next Target: The Internet

Now that the Democrats have passed their abomination in an effort to control the medical industry, they’re looking at the internet and licking their chops.

Democratic Representative Ed Markey writes a piece at Politico calling for Net Neutrality — because nothing will help the internets more than getting the government to tax and regulate it and use the money to pay for high-speed access for other people.

I strongly believe that we must enshrine the basic principles of openness and fairness into the rules governing how Internet service providers operate. And the Federal Communications Commission should serve as the top “cop on the beat” to ensure these principles are upheld in the marketplace.

The genius of the Internet is that it is truly a neutral platform. Moving forward, this should remain the case. No one should have to ask for permission to innovate.

Now we are at a crossroads — with this freedom at risk. Some corporations and special interests remain committed to putting tollbooths on the Internet superhighway. These tolls would allow big telecom companies to tier the Internet, charging different rates for different speeds and levels of access. This digital discrimination could extend from service and content to applications and devices.

I have now introduced the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, along with my colleagues Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). It stipulates that unfettered access to the Internet to offer and use content, services and applications is vital for consumers and our economy.

Because nothing says “fair” like being forced to subsidize someone else’s high speed internet. Gods forbid that people should be thrown into the inequitable world of having to pay for their own access to the web!

For the record, I don’t have high speed internet. I have dialup. Sure, it can take a while to surf the internets, but I get by. I can’t afford high-speed service, so I get by on less. See how easy budgeting works?

Also Democratic Representative Rick Boucher is pushing for subsidized broadband access in rural areas. Because internet porn is a right, and it’s wrong to charge more because of the added costs of maintaining infrastructure in rural areas, or something.

Broadband is the bridge from remote rural communities to the American economic mainstream. But many large areas in rural America are still served only by dial-up Internet connections.

For broadband to truly change the way our nation works and lives and for it to achieve its potential as an economic driver, it must be universally available. The policy of promoting universal access to communications services for all Americans has been a foundation of our nation’s economic and social development.

We have long understood the principle that universally available and affordable telephone service benefits not only residents of costly, difficult-to-serve rural areas but also urban residents who want to communicate with them.

This is also the basis for our determination to expand broadband availability to all Americans. And we should use the same funding mechanism that has assured available and affordable rural telephone service to achieve universal broadband access.

[…]

Our bill also promotes universal availability of broadband by requiring that recipients of USF support provide broadband within five years throughout their service territories at a download speed of at least 1.5 megabits per second. The National Broadband Plan released this week by the Federal Communications Commission is complementary to our legislative effort. It also recommends shifting the USF so that it supports broadband deployment.

And I bet you thought that Democrats didn’t care about the rural voters. And they’re willing to prove it — by raising taxes so we can give the gift of the internets to all.

More on the broadband initiative from Politico:

In the stimulus package, the Federal Communications Commission was tasked with creating a plan to expand Internet usage, particularly in underserved and rural areas, to create jobs and promote education. The plan, unveiled to Congress on March 17, would provide home broadband to 90 percent of Americans by 2020, compared with 65 percent today — an ambitious effort to improve Internet access nationwide.

The plan adopts several strategies to expand Internet usage, including supplementing state and local efforts. The FCC said it would consider creating a free or low-cost wireless Internet service and would expand broadband service to existing telephone programs. Improving understanding of the Internet is also a goal, with some funding going toward skills training for seniors and communities with little Internet use.

Critics of the plan call it too broad, arguing that it should focus on making sure it provides quality Internet to areas that need it rather than pushing for nationwide usage. If the Internet is available but not usable or affordable, they argue, the plan will not meet its goals of expanding access. Broadcasters are also raising objections to the plan’s call for redistributing some airwaves now controlled by them.

I find it amusing, because so many conservatives asked the question, if health care becomes a right, what’s next, internet access? They were dismissed as making a frivolous slippery slope argument. I guess that slop is slipperier than it looked.

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