Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is planning to introduce a net neutrality bill in January, according to Reuters. President-elect Barack Obama has said he supports net neutrality, though it is not yet clear whether he backs Dorgan’s bill.
The bill would prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from blocking web content. Net neutrality supporters say some ISPs have blocked content because of concerns over the amount of bandwidth used by customers. Others have slowed downloading activities for the same reason.
Internet service provider AT&T told Reuters it would be crazy to block content because the customers would just jump ship to an ISP that doesn’t. Blocking content would be akin to shooting themselves in the foot.
Indeed, the bill would pit ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless and cable companies against content providers such as Google and Microsoft.
Yes, in Washington, enemies make the strangest bedfellows.