As the date approaches for F2C: Freedom to Connect, the Internet freedom conference, April 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C., its co-hosts, pulvermedia (our client) and isen.com, note that the timing coincides with accelerated and profoundly consequential Congressional activities aimed at rewriting the laws governing the future of communications and the Internet.
For example, the US House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold its first hearing today on new draft legislation, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act (COPE) of 2006, designed to transform US communications and Internet policy.
In the wake of recent Hill activity, particularly release of the COPE Bill by leading House Republicans and the Wyden Bill on ‘Net Neutrality’, it is more essential than ever that Internet innovators and enthusiasts join the battle or risk that the rules governing the evolution of the Internet will be written by those who might not have the best interest of the Internet and its users at heart. It is also essential that policymakers who will affect the evolution of the Internet and communications here from these Internet thought-leaders before taking America and the World down a policy path from which it will be difficult to diverge.
F2C: Freedom to Connect will bring together the three constituencies that can defend against the imminent attack on the open Internet:
(1) large companies that owe their very existence to the internet;
(2) smaller upstarts with new opportunities and new ways of doing business that are Internet-centric, whose very survival depends on the existence of an unfettered, open Internet;
(3) citizens, NGOs, and politically-active groups that rely on the Internet as a critical infrastructure of Democracy.