Attempts to Regulate Internet in Maine Fall Short
Net neutrality legislation fails; Senate adopts non-binding resolution to
WASHINGTON, June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advocates for the regulation of the internet were defeated in their efforts to pass a law for so called 'net neutrality' in Maine this week. After failing to find the votes necessary to pass binding legislation, the Maine Legislature decided to "study" the issue and passed a non-binding resolution (LD 1675) asking Maine's Public Advocate's Office to submit a report on net neutrality for the Utilities Committee by February 1, 2008. The resolution is not law, and asks only for further examination of the issue. However it does acknowledge that broadband policy is a federal issue, and any state regulations will be preempted by federal legislation. For the last two years FreedomWorks has been engaged in a campaign to educate citizens on how so-called "net neutrality" mandates would open the floodgates to government meddling in a market that is currently competitive and dynamic. These efforts have flown in the face of big-government advocates such as MoveOn.org and Common Cause that are pushing net neutrality regulation under the guise of being pro-consumer. FreedomWorks Chairman and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey commented: "Net neutrality is simply a solution in search of a problem. The Federal Communications Commission already has sufficient authority under existing law to regulate and correct anticompetitive practices. Additional regulation in this area is unnecessary. Maine's economy has been in a difficult spot in recent years, and most legislators realize that Maine needs a world class telecom infrastructure to compete. Net Neutrality would serve as a disincentive to broadband deployment and infrastructure upgrades, especially in rural areas. To move the state forward, Maine needs lower taxes and fewer regulations to allow business to better compete and grow. Rather than creating a new law for a hypothetical problem, Maine did the right thing by not adding to its economic woes through net neutrality."