Net Neutrality is not some Marxist plot
What do the Christian Coalition of America, the Gunowners of America, the National Religious Broadcasters, and the Parents Television Council, whose founder, Brent Bozell, frequently appears on Fox News, all have in common? Each of these very conservative organizations support "net neutrality" on the Internet.
Yet, Fox News' Glenn Beck, whose views are often correct, has blasted the idea of net neutrality on the Internet as some kind of Marxist plot or words to that effect. Beck has attacked those Americans who want to make sure that the communications corporations which provide Internet service such as Comcast, AT & T and Verizon -- and which have a virtual monopoly on providing Internet service -- cannot discriminate against grassroots groups such as the Christian Coalition and the Parents Television Council. Grassroots groups want to make sure that Comcast, etc. do not put them on the slow track and censor what they communicate.
These conservative groups, which support net neutrality legislation, do not want these handful of communications giants to relegate their groups and small businesses to second-class and much slower Internet service.
On December 15, 2009, Christian Coalition's Vice President of Communications, Michele Combs testified before the Federal Communications Commission in support of net neutrality. Ms. Combs in her testimony said that "We believe that organizations such as Christian Coalition should be able to continue to use the Internet to communicate with our members and with a worldwide audience without a phone or cable company snooping in on our communications and deciding whether to allow a particular communication to proceed, slow it down, block it, or offer to speed it up if the author pays extra to be on the 'fast lane.'
"Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, we have seen network operators block political speech, block content, and block the most popular applications on the Internet. As you know, one cable company was discovered to have blocked consumers' ability to download the King James Bible."
What groups such as Gunowners of America and the National Religious Broadcasters in their support for net neutrality are concerned about is just such censorship as described above and discrimination against their grassroots organizations. Non-profit, family organizations such as Christian Coalition depend on an open Internet to allow them to compete against big media companies, and deep-pocketed political organizations, to reach supporters of Christian Coalition and to allow them to contact their representatives in Washington D.C. and in their state legislatures.
As Ms. Combs testified before the FCC last December: "The Christian Coalition does not seek burdensome regulations. We generally believe that less government is better than more government. We support a free market of ideas and commerce on the Internet. However, at this time, we need very limited rules of the road to protect the new public cyberspace.
"Any threat to the ability of organizations and groups to reach the American public at very low cost without permission is simply unacceptable and strikes at the heart of an engaged citizenry and well functioning democracy in the 21st century." Glenn Beck is indeed wrong this time in stating that advocates of net neutrality are dangerous or leftists or Marxists.