A month ago, after a federal court ruled in favor of Comcast, giving the Internet provider the ability to prioritize (or not) certain web content over other content, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA, 1), who is pushing for a vote on a bill he's sponsoring that would prevent ISPs like Comcast from playing favorites among content providers, told PubliCola, "We must ensure that winners and losers are decided by the marketplace, and not your broadband provider."
Yesterday, Rep. Inslee wrote an op-ed on the Huffington Post elaborating on his concerns. Here's an excerpt:
This court ruling has the potential to dramatically alter our ability to choose what we want to watch and read online and who has the power to create and innovate. Who will choose: a few giant broadband providers (or telephone and cable) companies or millions of individuals?
And think of this likely scenario: A large broadband provider buys your local TV station or a network, while at the same time is the only company in your area offering Internet service. Would they simply slow the bandwidth available to view or download information from other news sites? Or would they go even further and simply block your access to content they don't have a financial stake in?
Rep. Inslee is a longtime advocate of "Net Neutrality," the concept of making sure Internet users have equal access to the smorgasbord of content online. (The actual mechanics of Net Neutrality take place at the level of ISP and content provider.)