Two reps sponsor net neutrality bill in House

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In an effort to prevent Inter­net service providers (ISPs) from blocking or favoring certain con­tent on consumers' computers, Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, has introduced The Internet Freedom and Non­discrimination Act of 2008. The bill was co-sponsored by Demo­crat Zoe Lofgren of California.

If passed, the net neutrality bill would allow consumers equal access to all content, applications and services online — including search engines and banner ads. ISPs would still be able to manage traffic, but not discriminate against competitors. Providers would also be required to interconnect with competing ISPs “on a reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis.”

“The Internet was designed without centralized control, with­out gatekeepers for content and services,” Rep. Conyers said in a statement. “Many of the innova­tions and products we use every day, such as search engines, music download services and online video, likely would never have developed in a restricted environ­ment,” he added.

ISPs that do not honor the equality rules would be subject to antitrust violations.

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