Rep. Eshoo Calls for “˜Re-brand’ of Net Neutrality

Americans “can’t tell which jargon box to check,” says the California Democrat.

National Journal
Alex Brown
Aug. 21, 2014, 7:49 a.m.

Rep. Anna Eshoo has a plan to save net neut­ral­ity: Call it something else.

Amer­ic­ans, says the Cali­for­nia Demo­crat, know what they want on the In­ter­net, but the con­fus­ing ter­min­o­logy of the de­bate has left them con­fused about which plan matches their ideals. “The Amer­ic­an people are left with a muddled un­der­stand­ing of what to sup­port,” she said.

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Her plan calls for a “re-brand” of the term, which she defines as “the prin­ciple that all In­ter­net traffic is cre­ated equal and should be treated as such.” She’s turn­ing to””where else?””the In­ter­net to help her give net neut­ral­ity its new monik­er.

Tues­day, Eshoo launched a Red­dit con­test to start the re-brand. The most pop­u­lar sug­ges­tion by Sept. 8 (as­sum­ing it’s ap­pro­pri­ate) will be des­ig­nated as the new term for net neut­ral­ity.

Eshoo op­poses the Fed­er­al Com­mu­nic­a­tions Com­mis­sion’s plan to al­low In­ter­net pro­viders to charge for “fast lanes” for speedi­er In­ter­net traffic, which she said “would mean a fast lane for those who can af­ford it and a slow lane for every­one else, hinder­ing small busi­nesses, in­nov­at­ors, and In­ter­net users.” True net neut­ral­ity, she said, would put all web­sites on a level play­ing field.

“In or­der to send a clear mes­sage to the FCC, I think we need to re-brand net neut­ral­ity to more ac­cur­ately re­flect our goal,” she said.