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Stevens adds a bill of rights to telecom bill

But Neutrality advocates say the addition does little to protect the core neutrality of the Internet.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor on

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has added an "Internet Consumer Bill of Rights" to the Senate version of the Telecommunications Bill, which would allow the FCC to fine carriers for blocking access to a website or internet application, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

But Net Neutrality advocates don't think much of the addition. ""They are trying to throw up enough words to confuse the public," Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America, said. "This doesn't restore the essential neutrality of the network."

The new provisions to the Senate's telecommunications bill, to be voted on in committee on Thursday, are intended to win over members who may be sitting on the fence, according to a Senate aide who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the bill's new provisions. The effort could help undercut the chances of a competing amendment co-authored by North Dakota Democrat Sen. Byron Dorgan and Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe that would mandate network neutrality.
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