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Christian Coalition Backs Net Neutrality

The Christian Coalition fears a possibly pro-choice telco board might slow access to its pro-life messages.

The group supports amending telecom reform/video franchise streamlining legislation to put some statutory muscle behind FCC principles championing open access to the Internet.

Currently, a House version adds those FCC principles to the law, but does not give the commission rulemaking authority to right regulations preventing discrimination in the provision of Internet access. A Senate version of the bill doesn't even go that far, simply requiring the FCC to study the "network neutrality" issue, which does not yet have an agreed-upon definition.

Under the proposed bills, says Coalition President Roberta Combs, "There is nothing to stop the cable and phone companies from not allowing consumers to have access to speech that they don't support.

"What if a cable company with a pro-choice Board of Directors decides that it doesn't like a pro-life organization using its high-speed network to encourage pro-life activities? Under the new rules, they could slow down the pro-life web site, harming their ability to communicate with other pro-lifers - and it would be legal. We urge Congress to move aggressively to save the Internet."

Net Neutrality has made strange political bedfellows of liberal Democrats like Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey and groups like the coalition and gun owners groups, who have been able to mobilize opposition to gun control more swiftly via the Internet.