On July 17th, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will hold a hearing on E-rate. According to the District Dispatch, the hearing is on “…strengthening the E-rate program and expanding access to the latest digital technology and learning tools in our libraries and schools.” The hearing is scheduled to coincide with the Open Meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) being held on July 19th. At this meeting, the Commissioners will consider an E-rate Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that would modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed broadband. Maine State Librarian Linda Lord, who also serves as the Chair of the ALA E-Rate Task Force, will speak on behalf of libraries.
If interested, here’s how you can learn more:
- Listen to the hearing – On Wednesday, July 17th at 2:30pm, the hearing, E-Rate 2.0: Connecting Every Child to the Transformative Power of Technology, will be broadcast live via webcast. Refresh the webpage at 2:20pm to begin automatically streaming the webcast. The webcast will also be archived.
- Listen to the Open Meeting – On Friday, July 19th at 10:30am, listen to the live webcast of the Open Commission Meeting during which E-rate will be discussed. The archived webcast will also be available at the same site.
- Share your E-rate and library broadband success stories – The ALA Office for Information Technology Policy is interested in hearing your success stories. Email Marijke Visser and/or Larra Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
- Read up on E-rate – For more information, including some background on the E-rate program and current efforts for improvement, see the District Dispatch post.
On Thursday, the Senate defeated SJ Res 6. The bill would have overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality decision. (For some background on this bill, see the Legislative Panel blog post.)
Thank you to everyone who contacted our Senators asking them to oppose this bill! Senators Mikulski and Cardin both voted against the bill. Please take a moment to thank them for their support of net neutrality. You can do this using Capwiz.
11/11/2011 Update: SJ Res 6, the anit-net neutrality bill, was defeated in the Senate yesterday. For details, please see the Legislative Panel blog posting.
This week, the Senate will be voting on Senate Joint Resolution 6 (SJ Res 6) to overturn the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order that was passed to adopt net neutrality. The American Library Association Washington Office (ALA-WO) is asking people to call their Senators and ask them to vote NO on SJ Res 6. The message is that libraries depend on an open and non-discriminatory Internet to provide the public with unfettered access to information. For more talking points, please see the Capwiz Action Alert. You can call Senator Mikulski at 202-224-4654 and Senator Cardin at 202-224-4524.
In April, the House passed a similar resolution to overturn net neutrality—House Joint Resolution 47 (HJ Res 47). For more information on HJ Res 47, see the Legislative Panel blog post. For more of the previous updates on net neutrality, see the Legislative Panel blog posts.
Thanks in advance for any advocacy efforts!
On Friday, the House voted 240-179 in favor of a resolution (HJ Res 37) of disapproval that would overturn the net neutrality rules of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or slowing web sites on their networks. The resolution was largely supported by House Republicans, who believe that the FCC is overstepping its authority and hindering business with the net neutrality rules. However, net neutrality supporters, including the American Library Association, fear that repealing the net neutrality rules would allow Internet service providers to give preferential treatment to select companies.
In Maryland, votes fell along party lines with Bartlett and Harris voting in favor of the bill to overturn the net neutrality rules. Cummings, Edwards, Hoyer, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes and Van Hollen opposed the resolution.
In order for the FCC net neutrality rules to be overturned, the resolution would need to pass in the Senate and be signed by President Obama. Obama has indicated through the Office of Management and Budget that he would oppose any such measure.
Published February 24, 2011
Tags: Budget, FCC, Federal Communications Commission, FY2012, Hearing, HJ Res 37, Joint Resolution, Net Neutrality, Open Internet, SJ Res 6, Walden Amendment
Last week, a number of things happened regarding net neutrality. A District Dispatch posting provides more details and links to additional information on the following:
- Amendment to FY2012 bill passed – This amendment introduced by Senator Walden (R-OR) would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from using federal funds to implement its net neutrality order. This amendment was included in the FY2012 bill that passed in the House and is heading to the Senate.
- Hearings held – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, as well as the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, held hearings on net neutrality. Video or written documentation is now available.
- Letters of opposition – The American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE submitted a letter opposing any attempt to eliminate the FCC’s recent net neutrality rules. Other letters of opposition from a diverse group of organizations were also submitted and are available for viewing.
- Joint Resolution – House and Senate Republicans issued joint resolutions (SJ Res 6 and HJ Res 37) disapproving of the recent net neutrality order approved by the FCC.
It is unclear what will happen with net neutrality in the Senate.
This District Dispatch posting also includes a link to a complete list of activity in the 112th Congress dealing with net neutrality.
The American Library Association (ALA) and its allies, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Educause, have sent a letter to members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to share their opposition to any attempts to remove the net neutrality ruling by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). For a link to the letter, see the District Dispatch posting. The posting also includes links to written testimony of one hearing and a webcast of the other hearing.
There is movement in the House to strip the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its authority over the Internet and repeal the net neutrality rules that protect the Open Internet, possibly using the Congressional Review Act. Two House Committees will be holding hearings on net neutrality this week: Energy and Commerce (“Communications and Technology Subcommittee to Examine Network Neutrality and Internet Regulation” and Judiciary (“Ensuring Competition on the Internet: Net Neutrality and Antitrust”).
The American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office is currently working with its allies, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and Educause, to submit a letter to the House Energy & Commerce subcommittee members expressing concerns. In the future, there will be a need for grassroots advocacy. Updates will be posted, as more details become available.
Here are some sources of additional background information: