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E-M:/ Michigan Video Franchising Bill (HB 6456)

Enviro-Mich message from "Larry D. =?iso-8859-1?b?Tm9vZOlu?=" <ldnum@umich.edu>

On the surface, Internet information access may not seem like an environmental issue; however, it is in the sense that the flow of environmental and other citizen action information could easily be suppressed in an Internet where the priority or even access is controlled by wealthy special interest groups.

I urge you to contact your Michigan state senatorial representative and ask him/her to vote NO on the "Michigan Video Franchising Bill" (HB 6456) unless it's amended to protect net neutrality.

The efforts by a few large special interest groups (e.g., Comcast and ATT) to control the flow of information over the Internet to enhance their own profits not only pose a threat to business (especially the small businesses that are thriving in the Internet), but they can also weaken democracy by interfering with the free flow of information.

They are arguing that companies like Google are sending out a lot of information and they should have to pay extra for it, but they have this backwards. Users like us are requesting the information, and we are already paying for that access. Comcast and ATT would also like to be able to set up special paid access levels that we would be steered to preferentially instead of geting the most relevant sites in response to a search.

This issue will come up again at the state and federal levels.

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