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Updated: Snowe Broke With GOP on Net Neutrality, Too

Updated with letter from Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison to FCC on net neutrality.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) caused an eruption in the health-care standoff in Congress on Tuesday, breaking away from her party to vote in favor of a sweeping overhaul of the health-care system.

But it's not the first time she has parted ways with the main views of the Republican Party. She was the co-signer of a 2007 bill with Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) in support of net neutrality. And Dorgan said in an interview last month that the two would work together on legislation aimed at easing the process of getting new net neutrality rules formed at the Federal Communications Commission.

The joint effort by Dorgan and Snowe came amid an intensified push by Republican lawmakers and three Democratic governors Tuesday to prevent FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski from adopting new net neutrality rules. The FCC will vote next week on a proposal to begin crafting new rules.

On Tuesday, Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, expressing concern over net neutrality rules and asking for answers to questions about how the rules would impact investment and the deployment of broadband services to places where access isn't available now. She also questioned whether the push for rules is one that also includes Web applications companies like Google, Amazon and Skype.

"It is important for policy makers to understand whether the commission's view on an open Internet as one where rules apply with equal force to all members of the Internet community," Hutchison wrote.Hutchison letter to FCC Net Neutrality.pdf

By Cecilia Kang  |  October 14, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
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To position "network neutrality" as a partisan issue, especially when legislators are so consumed with health care that they are likely to vote party line on other issues in the meanime, is to ensure that bad laws are made.

There are good reasons for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to oppose onerous, consumer-hostile regulation.

Posted by: squirma | October 14, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

And there are good reasons for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support net neutrality, which encourages competition and preserves our freedom to access information and applications.

Posted by: VirginiaGal2 | October 16, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

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