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EDUCAUSE Joins Coalition Supporting Access to an Open Internet

In efforts to support a "fast, affordable and open" Internet, EDUCAUSE recently joined forces in creating and promoting InternetforEveryone.org. This coalition, which consists of public interest organizations, industry groups, and concerned citizens, is devoted to the notion that citizens should have access to an open Internet. The official launch date for the campaign was June 24.

With statistics showing that the United States has fallen to 15th in terms of broadband penetration (down from its 4th place ranking in 2001), members say there is a pressing need for a national broadband policy. Specifically, the coalition at InternetforEveryone.org says "every American must be connected to a fast, affordable and open Internet to serve as an active citzen in a 21st century democracy and to prosper in today's economy. High-speed Internet is no longer a luxury; it's a lifeline for all Americans. Our broad alliance is working together to see that our nation's leaders adopt a national plan to bring open, high-speed Internet connections into every home, at a price all of us can afford."

The group stands for four basic principles: ACCESS (for every home and business), CHOICE (competitive choice with lower prices and faster speeds), OPENNESS (Right to freedom of speech and commerce online in an open market without gatekeepers or discrimination), and INNOVATION (Internet must continue to create jobs and foster economic growth). By coming together as one, the group is hopeful that it will be even more effective in promoting broadband policies when it brings the initiative to federal, state, and local representatives.

The diverse coalition includes Google, YouTube, Internet2, eBay, the ACLU, BitTorrent, Public Knowledge, and the Writers Guild of America (East and West branches), among others. Additionally, individual members include Larry Lessig and Barbara van Schewick at Stanford Law School, Yochai Benker at Harvard Law School, Jack Balkin at Yale Law School, and Jonathan Zittrain at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Comments

Presumably the principle of "openness" is meant to include 'net neutrality.' Hopefully it does. Above all others, this is the principle that higher ed needs to fight strenuously for. Congrats to Educause for taking a lead on this.