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A word from my Representative

As much I talk about contacting your Congresspeople, I’m sure some wonder if I actually follow my own advice. Here is a copy of the reply I received from my very own Representative, Sherrod Brown:

Thank you for expressing your support for network neutrality in the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement (COPE) Act.

The Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006 would establish a national video franchise and require IP-based communications services such as voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services provide access to E9-1-1. While this measure is far from perfect, it will play an important role in stimulating cable competition, job creation, and enhancing public safety. On that basis, I voted in favor of its passage.

Over the past few years, consumer prices for long distance, wireless, and broadband services have dropped and competition has increased. While in the cable market, rates have skyrocketed, rising 58 percent in eight years and competition remains largely non-existent for many Ohio consumers. The COPE Act’s national franchise process would encourage competition and enhance consumer choice. Consumers in Ohio deserve a competitive environment for cable services and will reap the benefits should this Act become law.

I voted for a number of amendments that would have improved the bill, including an amendment on net neutrality, which would have maintained the openness and freedom of the Internet that exists today. Unfortunately, net neutrality and amendments that would have required companies to provide service to underserved areas and protect cities’ rights did not garner sufficient support to pass during Committee consideration. I will work on a bicameral basis to promote inclusion of these amendments to the final bill.

I have also cosponsored HR 5273, the Network Neutrality Act, which would define network neutrality and make it a requirement of the Internet. To receive email updates about my work in Congress, please visit http://sherrod.house.gov/optin.htm. Thank you again for contacting me.

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