I'm blogging at the Harvard Law School, where I'm with a group of folks concerned about the future of our internet. We've gathered to watch the senate commerce committee hearing on network neutrality going on right now.
In his opening statement Senator Byron Dorgan told the committee:
We must "keep the internet free…I've already paid the toll" to access information on the internet.
Conrad Burns told the committee, "there is concern among all of us" and that net neutrality should be an issue for all of us to deal with.
"There should be an unfettered acces without discrimination" to the internet, Burns continued, and that "the internet should remain open to all users". but at the same time, we must balance companies' interest and the discussion today involves the question, "how do we strike the balance".
Burns also told the committee that"consumers deserve liberated access on the internet" and that he is hopeful that this hearing will start the debate". He concluded by saying that "there are going to be more questions coming out of this hearing than answers".
Sen. Ensign said in his testimony that "one of the things that needs to be pointed out here, is that when we're tlaking about the issues of net neutrality the country that invented the internet is 16th in broadband deployment…it's getting worse not better."
And went on to say that "the fact is is that our regulations need to be modernized to reflect the technologies of today and incentives for companies to invest..so that we have broadband networks that can compete".
While we have competition we don't have nearly the competition that would benefit the consumer.
Ron Wyden (D-Oregon):
"In my view there are powerful interests that are trying to break the net…This is a fundamental shift in the way the internet has worked and prospered."
"I am going to introduce legislation…to ensure that information stays available…"
Wyden also wrote that his legislation, "will ensure that a company like Comcast does not give preferental treatment" to certain information passed over the web.
Chairman said that "there are probably 150 people out in the hall", outside the hearing room.
Watch the hearing live Here.