7:18 PM EDT

Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I might add that I am not in opposition to the manager's amendment except to the extent to which the manager's amendment does not include language on nondiscrimination. Language which would ensure that all parts of a community receive the lower cable rates, not just the good parts of town where the telephone companies are going to deploy.

There is no provision in here that deals in a meaningful way with net neutrality to ensure that the Internet as we know it is preserved, protected for the future, that entrepreneurs know that they can have access to it without having to pay a discriminatory entry fee, that the telephone companies cannot tip these entrepreneurs upside down and shake money out of their pockets. That is the problem that I have with the manager's amendment. It is not that I object to what is in it. It is really what

is not in it, what should have been included, what would have led to this bill being characterized as a bill which was balanced.

By the way, the bill which we had agreed upon on a handshake deal, Democrats and Republicans, was a balanced bill. It did include protections for the Internet. It did include protections for rate payers. But all of that, obviously, was objected to by the Bell companies.

Let me just make this point once again. The Bell companies had nothing to do with the creation of the Internet. The Bell companies had nothing to do with the development of the World Wide Web. The Bell companies had nothing to do with the browser in its development. In fact, AT&T was asked if they wanted to build the Internet, the packet switch network in 1966. They turned the contract down when the government went to them. And so a company named BB&N, Bolt, Betranick and Newman got the contract.

It was a very small company, not AT&T.

They have had nothing to do with the development of the Internet, but now at this late date, they want to come in and to create these bottleneck control points that allow them to extract Internet taxes, Internet fees from companies and individuals who have been using the Internet for a generation.

It is this absence of nondiscriminatory language in the manager's amendment and in the bill to which I object, and I think as time goes on and, obviously, the majority has been unwilling to have this debate in the full light of day. We will be finishing this some time around midnight. And the key amendments, of course, were not even put in order for us to debate, with the exception of net neutrality which we will have 10 minutes to the proponents of net neutrality to make their case. You can

barely explain the concept in 10 minutes, much less have a full debate on what the implications of it are. But that is all part of the plan by the telephone companies and the Republican majority not to have a full debate on it.

But the consequences for our country are going to be dramatic in the long run. It has taken a long time to get to this point where America has been the leader in the Internet. And tonight monopolies have arrived, finally, belatedly, as they have come to understand this technology. But a little bit of history is important to understand.

They never purchased their first foot of fiber optic until the government broke up AT&T in 1984. They never deployed their first broadband technology until 1997 after we passed the Telecommunications Act. It has always taken the government to ensure that AT&T, these telephone companies, do, in fact, innovate, such as the word can be used, when you are describing a telephone company.

The real storyline over the last 20 years has been hundreds of thousands of smaller companies using the Internet, innovating on the Internet, creating jobs and revolutionizing not only our own country's ability to communicate and create jobs, but the rest of the world's as well.

So I do not object to the manager's amendment for what is in it but rather for what is not in it. And, unfortunately, the same thing can be said for amendments which are not going to be debated here tonight because of the Republican recalcitrance, their unwillingness to have a full blown debate on perhaps the central growth issue that we will have before the Congress on this session.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

7:23 PM EDT

Joe Barton, R-TX 6th

Mr. BARTON of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I have no further requests for time. I urge a yes vote on the Barton manager's amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.