Leveling the Internet Playing Field for Providers and Consumers

The Internet has flourished as an open medium where users can access any lawful content, applications and services, using any devices. Recently, however, some last-mile broadband providers have indicated their intent to engage in a practice which would undermine the openness and accessibility of the Internet, qualities which have made the Internet a major driving force in our nation's economy. They plan to charge websites for users to reach them more quickly, thereby creating an Internet with a fast lane and a slow lane.

The Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act would ensure that the Internet continues to exist as an unfettered medium where startups and businesses of all sizes can provide content and services reachable by all consumers. Because it provides that if data of any kind is prioritized then all data of a similar kind would be entitled to priority treatment without any charge for the prioritization, it would assure that the market power broadband providers now exercise over transmission is not extended to control of content. This measure is particularly important and timely because H.R. 5252, the Energy and Commerce Committee video franchising measure, is insufficient to ensure that broadband network providers do not abuse their market power to discriminate against competitive Internet content or services.