Below you'll find the central documents referred to in "The Internet @ Risk" and the MOYERS ON AMERICA Citizens Class legislation, lawsuits and reports. You'll find recent news coverage of net neutrality, reports on wireless and fiber options in the U.S. and municipal wireless programs and information on the state of media consolidation in the U.S. You can also delve into the intricacies of the debate over net neutrality legislation with a variety of voices from both sides.
For more information on matters referred to in "Internet @ Risk" and the MOYERS ON AMERICA Citizens Class, visit the Timeline, Glossary, and Sites of Interest sections.
DOCUMENTS AND REPORTS
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This report from the Congressional Research Service surveys the background and pertinent issues of net neutrality, including an overview of the Congressional debate. (PDF)
TeleTruth.org has an FTC Complaint Against SBC and Verizon for Commercial Speech, Deceptive Practices in Mergers. Read their report on the promises of fiber connectivity made in the 1990s. (PDF)
THE $200 BILLION BROADBAND SCANDAL
Read excerpts of the TeleTruth publication. The site also collects links to bloggers writing on the broadband issue.
NEWS AND REPORTS
CNET keeps tabs on all Internet and broadband-related legislative efforts.
"Let There Be Wi-Fi," Robert McChesney and John Podesta, WASHINGTON MONTHLY, June 2006
The media writers argue that "Broadband is the electricity of the 21st century—and much of America is being left in the dark."
Network neutrality legislation
The Center for Media and Democracy and The Sunlight Foundation present an interactive article which covers the legislative attempts to codify network neutrality, a lack of network neutrality or a version of it.
"Free American Broadband," S. Derek, Salon.com, October 18, 2005
Article from Salon.com comparing U.S. broadband connectivity with European.
"Internet Shaping Journalism," Tom Carver, BBC
Tom Carver at the BBC explains how the Internet not only provides unlimited information, but also provides various means of communication between citizens and journalists, leading to an evolution in current journalistic practice and standards. According to Carver: "Do I think it's a good development? Absolutely."
CNET maintains an interactive map of projects and legislation.
"Beyond Broadcast: Expanding Public Media in the Digital Age"
Position paper on public media access by the Center for Digital Democracy.
FreePress.org: Community Internet
FreePress advocates for community networks. This section of their Web site lays out arguments for Interent as a public necessity and tracks community projects around the country.
The Baller Herbst Law Group
The Baller Herbst is a national law practice based in Washington, DC, and Minneapolis, MN which represents the American Public Power Association, regional and state municipal electric associations, state municipal leagues, local governments and public power systems across the United States on a broad range of regulatory, administrative, legislative and judicial matters involving telecommunications, cable services, Internet access and other communications services. They maintain an extensive library of legal and other documents related to community wireless cases and legislation.
Voices from the municipal wireless debate
"More Cities Offering Wireless Internet Access
Bells call it unfair competition," David Baumgarten, Center for Public Integrity
Not in the Public Interest, The Myth of Municipal Wi-Fi Networks," The New Millennium Research Council, February, 2005, summary findings (PDF)
"Philadelphia's Big Dig", Frank Rizzo, CNET, February 17, 2005
Spectrum Policy Program, New American Foundation
"Why Voters Are Rejecting Municipal Broadband," Steven Titch, Heartland Institute
"Why your broadband sucks," Lawrence Lessig, WIRED, March 2005
Center for Public Integrity Telecom
The Center's "Well-Connected" database tracks local media ownership, media lobbying dollars and revenues for U.S media and telecom companies.
COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW
The Columbia Journalism review's 2006 review of the holdings of major media companies.
"Grand Theft: The Conglomeratization of Media and the Degradation of Culture," Ben Bagdikian. MULTINATIONAL MONITOR. Jan/Feb 2005
Article critical of media consolidation by the journalist Ben Bagdikian, author of THE NEW MEDIA MONOPOLY.
"The National Entertainment State 2006," THE NATION, July 3, 2006
Graphic of the media holdings of the largest U.S. companies.
|In Favor of Net Neutrality Legislation:||Opposed to Net Neutrality Legislation:||"Without net neutrality, the Internet would start to look like cable TV. A handful of massive companies would control access and distribution of content, deciding what you get to see and how much it costs...We would lose the opportunity to vastly expand access and distribution of independent news and community information through broadband television. More than 60 percent of Web content is created by regular people, not corporations. How will this innovation and production thrive if creators must seek permission from a cartel of network owners?"
"No Tolls On The Internet," Lawrence Lessig and Robert W. McChesney. THE WASHINGTON POST, June 8, 2006
|"This unnecessary government regulation would discourage investments in broadband networks because it would give government control over them and limit the ability of Internet network retailers, such as cable, wireless, satellite and telephone companies to provide the highest quality and lowest price services to their customers.
Proponents of this regulatory bonanza say that without government interference, networks will block basic Internet services and Web sites to consumers. Yet this has not happened without federal regulation. Unlike the current video franchising problem, Net neutrality remains only a theoretical threat."
- "Why Net Neutrality Means More Federal Regulation," Jim DeMint, CNET
|"According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets--corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers--would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out...If we permit the Internet to become a medium designed primarily to serve the interests of marketing and personal consumption, rather than global civic-related communications, we will face the political consequences for decades to come. Unless we push back, the "brandwashing" of America will permeate not only our information infrastructure but global society and culture as well."
- "The End of the Internet?," Jeff Chester, THE NATION
|"Mr. and Ms. Consumer are starting to demand a lot from their Internet. They want on-demand movies. Voice-over-Internet telephone service. Streaming live video. And, very soon no doubt, a lot of data-rich services that we haven't even heard of yet.
Those sorts of services will require Internet providers - like, yes, the telecoms and the cable firms - to invest enormously in expanding the pathways for that coming flood of data.
If we want movies (and we do) and if we want streaming video (and we do), then someone must pay for the huge infrastructure improvements necessary to deliver those innovative services into our offices and homes. Government-enforced "net neutrality" would stifle that innovation. It would temper the consumer-driven imperative to make the Internet work faster and better."
- "'Net Neutrality' Would Stifle Innovation," editorial, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, June 26, 2006
|"The opponents of Net Neutrality, for example, try to set up the debate as one between the big telephone companies and the equally big Google and Yahoo!. That's nonsense on the face of it, first because the telephone companies have been much bigger, much longer, and are getting bigger...The real debate is over the future of the next Google's and Yahoo!s. Google and Yahoo! and others are fighting to protect the future of the Internet, so that the economic and regulatory conditions that fostered the original Yahoo! and the original Google will still be around, and so that entrepreneurs won't have their business plans depend on the kindness, or lack thereof, of strangers in the telephone and cable companies."
"Net Neutrality By the Numbers," Art Brodsky, TPM Cafe
|"The AT&Ts of the world aren't wrong for insisting on differentiated service qualities. They're just offering consumers what business has been able to purchase for years. Companies that need a service with low-jitter to run a voice application have been able to purchase those lines by paying extra for those capabilities.
The public Internet should be no different. If users want a better-quality experience they should pay more. It's a business and as in any business, quality translates into higher prices. Is it fair that Business Class customers get better treatment than Economy class? You bet."
- March 24, 2006
"Net Neutrality Nonsense," Dave Greenfield Networking Pipeline
"Catching the Web in a Net of Neutrality," Robert E. Litan, WASHINGTONPOST.COM, May 2, 2006
The Great Debate: What Is Net Neutrality?, Center for American Progress
"Net Neutrality" Digital Discrimination or Regulatory Gamesmanship in Cyberspace?," Adam D. Thierer, CATO Institute
"Commentary: Net Neutrality Would Violate the First Amendment Rights of ISPs,"
Randolph J. May,
THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL,
August 16, 2006
ONLINE NEWSHOUR Net Neutrality Analysis, June 22, 2006
"The Struggle for Net Freedom," FreePress.org
"Tech Faceoff: Net Neutrality, In the Eye of the Beholder
Stark Contrasts in the Debate Over the Future of the Internet," Kim Hart and Sara Kehaulani Goo, THE WASHINGTON POST, July 2, 2006
"Watch Out We Don't Neuter the Net," Randolph J May, CNET, June 1, 2006