Friday, February 23, 2007

Net Neutrality in Maryland

(Originally posted at The Old Line.)

This just appeared in my inbox from Save the Internet:

Dear Isaac,

Maryland is on the front line of the fight for Internet freedom.

Verizon and Comcast lobbyists are now descending on the state capitol to kill a bill that would help protect Net Neutrality -- the principle that keeps big companies like these from controlling where you go and what you can do online.

This important bill (HB 1069) was put forward last week by Del. Herman Taylor. He is standing up for the Internet, working to keep it open and free, and making sure that everyone can get high-speed access in their neighborhood.

Verizon and Comcast are sending in dozens of lobbyists to speak against the bill before a legislative committee hearing scheduled for next Tuesday.

It's time the people of Maryland pushed back. Your state legislator needs to hear from you now: Protect Net Neutrality! Support HB 1069!

Here are two things you can do to help:

1. Call now and tell your state representative to vote YES on House Bill 1069.

Your State Representative
Phone: 800-492-7122

Click here for a sample script.

Then, please tell us about your call by clicking here.

2. Attend Tuesday's open hearing in Annapolis to show your support for Net Neutrality in Maryland:

WHAT: Legislative Hearing on Maryland Net Neutrality Bill (HB 1069)
WHEN: Next Tuesday -- February 27, 2007
TIME: 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Room 230, House Office Building, Annapolis, MD

Anyone who wants to can show up and testify, as long as you are there by 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Without this bill, Verizon and Comcast would be free to gut Net Neutrality, cherry-pick which communities receive high-speed broadband and video services, and ignore consumer protections.

With your help in 2006, we stood up to the phone and cable companies in Washington, D.C. By speaking out today, you send a powerful message to your representatives: Maryland needs an open Internet for everyone.

Thank you,

Timothy Karr
Campaign Director
Free Press
www.freepress.net

Here's the Taylor bill's official page, and Art Brodsky has a good overview of what the bill would do. As readers will likely be aware, net neutrality has been an abiding concern for me, as it is for most bloggers. I would highly encourage bloggers in Maryland, liberal or conservative, to support it.

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