No action on Net Neutrality

Senate will take up the issue again on Tuesday, as Stevens signals intention to stand firm.

The first day of mark-up of the Senate's version of a new Telecom Bill ended after only two hours, with no decisions on Net Neutrality, News.com reports. Sen Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee vowed to hold firm on his "bill of rights" for consumers, which is seen as woefully inadequate by Net Neutrality advocates.

But supporters of neutrality vowed to push the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, an amendment by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.

"It is my hope we will continue to seek compromise on this issue before us," Stevens said. More than 200 amendments on the numerous topics covered by the bill have been filed for consideration.

But when it comes to Net neutrality, Stevens said he intended to hold firm on the existing language. It would establish an "Internet consumer bill of rights" and give the Federal Communications Commission authority to fine violators--but not make new rules in the area.

"Until someone really defines (Net neutrality), why should we destroy a bill? And we will" by changing the provisions, Stevens told reporters after the meeting.

Nevada Republican John Ensign sounded the loudest alarms against further regulations on Thursday. He flatly rejected the pro-Net neutrality camp's criticism of the bill, saying the proposal is a "good compromise" that fully protects their interests.

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