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Google caves on HB 6456?

by: matt

Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 14:35:32 PM EST


As reported below, the State Senate approved HB 6456 without a net neutrality clause. Sen. Patty Birkholz (R-Saugatuck) had an amendment that would have added a net neutrality clause. However, she opted to remove it from consideration, and offered this floor statement (as transcribed by me):
Thank you, Mr. President. As we have had some very deliberative debates today on this huge issue before us, I wanted to remind my members about the net neutrality issue - and how important it is to consumers across the state, especially those in the more rural and suburban areas.

Yes, this needs to be addressed by the federal government. Yes, the federal government is working on it, but, as we know the federal government lately has been very slow to react to states' needs and we as states have found ourselves leading the federal government - not behind them in the parade. Unfortunately, we do not have the net neutrality amendment on this bill. But it is still very important to look at in the future. It's become known as the Google amendment - and they feel very strongly that Michigan needs to insure consumers' access to all forms of video services - not just those that are offered by cable and phone companies. But they have also indicated their support of increased competition for Michigan consumers and decided that they had no desire to derail the whole process.

So, in deference to them and to my constituents who have e-mailed me and snail-mailed me, and phoned me about this very issue, because they feel so strongly, I have decided that I would not put the amendment on as you know.

We've also been in contact with the governor's office, and it's my understand that the governor's office has suggested to Google and the other supporters of net neutrality, that they will pick up the bill again next year in standalone legislation.

Therefore I did not put the amendment on, but I want members to be aware of the fact that this is a huge issue facing us and we need to continue working on it in the future.

Thank you for your support.

The vote was 26-12.

The bill now heads back to the House for final approval (the House did approve a similar version of HB 6456 by a huge margin last month). After that, it is expected that Governor Granholm will sign it.

matt :: Google caves on HB 6456?
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fascinating... (0.00 / 0)
dude, thanks for transcribing that.  i couldn't tell what she was saying!

Check out my mediocre blog.

This issue is far from dead. (0.00 / 0)
If you remember back to when this was debated on a national level, there were a lot of companies speaking out in favor of net neutrality just as Google did here.  Big companies, Microsoft, GM, Ford, Apple, Yahoo, Lycos, eBay, Google, and many, many others.  But most of those companies never said a word here in Michigan.  The reason:  A bill at the state level is a great thing,but the pressure must be applied to the national level.  The case has been made multiple times why net neutrality only at the state level does little.  Franchising rights are not the be all and end of of enacting net neutrality, especially when not all telecom providers are asking for them.  Write your representative in Washingto.  If they come back that they will not support net neutrality, use it against them. I'm sorry but Matt at MyDD's argument that this won't be supported nationally is wrong.

I hope this will be my last post on this subject for awhile.


Sure... but (0.00 / 0)
I saw the quote by the AT&T CEO posted on this site recently.  I have to agree with him.  Although I'd like to see net neutrality, why does it have to be on the back of a company who built the infrastructure?  Why should everyone else get a free ride?

[ Parent ]
where is the quote? (0.00 / 0)
Nothing is "on the back" of the company that built the infrastructure.  That company already gets paid for their services.  But I'd like to see the quote, if anyone knows where it is.

[ Parent ]
How does attaching net neutrality (0.00 / 0)
hurt ATT and what it wants to do.  It can still do it with net neutrality.  I did get a letter from Senator Levin.  He will support net neutrality.  Stabenow is still at no comment.  Maybe now that the election is over, she can pick a side.  Hope she doesn't cop out on this like she did on the torture bill.

[ Parent ]
Google and HB 6457 (0.00 / 0)
Scott Cleland over at the Precursor Blog hits the nail on the head when he refers to Google's attempt to play the "spoiler" role as "undisciplined" and "bratish."  He states, "If Google had done any homework at all before it rushed into the Michigan process, it would understand how it is wasting the Michigan legislature's precious resources and time on an eleventh hour problem that the state of Michigan cannot solve or legally address for Google."  You can read his entire post here: http://www.precursor....  And in the spirit of full disclosure, I work with the Hands Off the Internet coalition. 

Google has invested in MI. (0.00 / 0)
It has a right to be involved in this.  "rushed in" , ha!

[ Parent ]
She's my gutless Senator (0.00 / 0)
As usual Patty is more interested in following the party line than representing her constituents, who always vote the straight R'thug ticket, and not only didn't she put the net neutrality amendment in the hopper on this bill, she also forgot that most of her district cannot get broadband service because it is semi-Rural. I am half way between Kazoo and GR and just two miles off the freeway, but because ATT decided to  end the exchange that we are on at our house and begin the next exchange at the house next door [it used to be a long distance call to call my neighbor and we could stand on our front lawns and shout to each other] we have to pay $50+ for an ISDN line and still get crappy service. Houses are too far apart of cable, and wifi is blocked by trees and hills. So did she propose that the companies who want to compete for video, phone, internet must establish a state wide network serving all homes before they get to get away from the local franchise fees? H*** No! So Powerful Patty did it to us again.

Always vote straight Democratic, at least they care about the little guy, not just the members of the State Chamber of Commerce!



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