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Issue Position: Telecommunications

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"From bringing high speed technology to schools in America, to working to ensure that broadband service is available and affordable for every American, especially those who have little political or economic influence, and even for fighting to make our environment a safer place in which to live, Congressman Markey epitomizes what working in the public interest is all about."-Karen Peltz Strauss, former Deputy Bureau Chief of the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer Information Bureau and author of "A New Civil Right: Telecommunications Equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Americans."

Ed Markey is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and has served on that panel since his first election in 1976. In this capacity, Ed has worked on every major telecommunications law passed in the last 30 years.

Maintaining a competitive telecommunications marketplace is one of Ed's top priorities. He was a key legislative author of the historic Telecommunications Act of 1996 which broke down barriers to competition and ushered in the broadband era of telecommunications. Competition remains Ed's economic mantra--in his words, "ruthless Darwinian competition that would bring a smile to Adam Smith." He was one of the only members of the Commerce Committee to fight AT&T's monopoly in the early 80s and is the principal House advocate of breaking down discriminatory bottlenecks to innovation and competition across telecommunications markets.

Ed works tirelessly to advocate for and protect the nation's children by authoring and championing the "E-rate" for K-12 schools and libraries. This program provides $2.25 Billion a year in discounted Internet access to such entities. He has also written numerous laws promoting access to technologies for individuals with disabilities , and multiple provisions ensuring consumer privacy. Ed successfully fought for the establishment of the national "Do Not Call" registry to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, which grew out of his 1991 "Telephone Consumer Protection Act." Ed also shepherded through legislation guaranteeing public safety its own allocation of airwave frequencies for national interoperability and a bill to require E-911 capability from emerging Internet telephone services.

Ed is now fighting to protect the Internet from the imposition of new bottleneck fees and discrimination. He is the author of a pending bill to safeguard "network neutrality" to preserve the Internet as an open architecture platform for innovation, entrepreneurial investment, and diverse communications. Ed is also eager to pursue policies to promote universal broadband service. Ed believes that ubiquitous deployment of high speed, competitive, and affordable broadband service to all Americans is indispensible to our nation's economic security and society in the decades to come.


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