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Democratic state AGs speak up for net neutrality

New York has entered the net neutrality fray, and California may be following quickly behind.

New York has entered the net neutrality fray, and California may be following quickly behind. NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sent a letter to US Senators, urging the passage of a net neutrality amendment introduced by Sens. Olympia Snowe and Byron Dorgan, News. com reports.

The move marks the first weigh-in from state officials. "Congress must not permit the ongoing consolidation of the telecommunications industry to work radical and perhaps irrevocable change in the free and neutral nature of the Internet," he wrote. Spitzer also encouraged the committee to add a provision that would allow state attorneys general and private parties to sue companies that fail to adhere to Net neutrality regulations.

California's AG Bill Lockyer is also signalling support for net neutrality, although he didn't go so far as Spitzer. "The public is right in viewing this as their Internet and should not be pushed into the slow lane," spokesman Aaron Carruthers told CNET News.com. "They have the right to expect the same access and priority as anyone else to public network services."

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committeee, threatened that a larger telecom bill, which is very much his baby, would go down in defeat if net neutrality is added. ""If that Net neutrality provision goes in this bill, all the (Republican) side's going to vote against it," Stevens told reporters, News.com said.