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Maine has become the first state in the US to pass network neutrality legislation, although the resolution that was finally passedis significantly weaker thanthe initial bill that was considered. 老域名出售

The initial bill, LD 1675, had real teeth to it, laying down the conditions under which Internet service providers could offer products. Lawful content had been to be delivered in a nondiscriminatory fashion, though providers were allowed to charge different prices for different connection speeds or bandwidth caps.

That bill was amended, though, and the amendment rewrote the entire bill, turning it into a much weaker resolution that essentially does nothing but express concern and call for a report. The state will keep a special eye on the FCC and its actions regarding network neutrality but will do no actual regulating itself. The Office of the Public Advocate needs only to submit a report to the Legislature by next February.

Despite the major setback, backers of the bill considered it a victory. "Maine is once again leading the way in protecting the rights of its citizens," said Shenna Bellows, Executive Director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union. "This resolution will help reestablish the internet as the free and open arena of democracy it was always intended to be."

Well, probably not. The resolution will actually do little, but it does show that the issue is on the legislative radar screen now, and next year's report could provide the impetus for actual legislation. Network neutrality has also been championed at the national level by Sen. Olympia Snowe, a Maine Republican. Snowe introduced a network neutrality bill earlier this year in conjunction with Byron Dorgan (D-ND). That bill is currently sitting in committee.


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