Dear Editor,

The future of communications law in America is currently in the hands of the U.S. Senate, who has the chance to vote in favor of H.R. 5252 (The Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform Act).

This pivotal piece of legislation will certainly assure that American consumers will be kept in mind as new broadband technologies are being developed, as it will save them money, protect their rights, and reach out to certain groups of citizens who are in much need of cutting-edge broadband service.

The Stevens Bill will lower cable bills for consumers by introducing competition, make permanent the Internet Tax Ban that protects us from unnecessary Internet service taxation, block new state and local taxes that discriminate against wireless customers, and uphold the nation's commitment to affordable universal service.

Our rights as Internet customers will be protected, as an "Internet Neutrality Consumer Bill of Rights" will be established to assure that we can search whichever applications we want with the technology of our choice and expand consumer protections against discrimination by granting service to citizens regardless of income, race, or religion.

This bill will also highly benefit emergency workers by granting them life-saving communications upgrades, people in rural areas by creating a $500 million fund that will advance broadband deployment in their areas, and children by upholding FCC standards that will prevent video franchises from distributing child pornography. Even our service men and women overseas will benefit from the lower costs of calling home that H.R. 5252 will ensure.

As West Virginia citizens, we need to contact our already supportive senators to vote in favor of this legislation during this session of Congress. Please contact Senators Jay Rockefeller and Senator Robert C. Byrd encourage them to vote in FAVOR of H.R. 5252 (The Advanced Telecommunications and Opportunity Reform Act) and to OPPOSE net neutrality. Senator Rockefeller's phone numbers are: in Charleston 304-347-5372 and in Washington D.C. 202-224-6472. Senator Byrd's phone numbers are: in Charleston 304-342-5855 and in Washington D.C 202-224-3957.

Ashley D. McClanahan
Cross Lanes

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