Dorgan Plans Net Neutrality Bill

Reuters is reporting that Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is planning to introduce a net neutrality bill when the 111th Congress convenes in January.

The news wire cites the words of Dorgan’s telecom aide, who spoke at an event at the University of Nebraska law school.

According to Reuters, the aide said Dorgan believes a law is essential to prevent telephone and cable companies from discriminating against Internet content, even though regulators have taken actions to enforce free Web principles.

Dorgan, who has previously been a backer of net neutrality, will see his ranking on the powerful Senate Commerce Committee rise as the current chairman, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, trades the Commerce gavel for the top spot on the even more powerful Appropriations Committee (where Chairman Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., is surrendering the post.)

Also, some reporters have suggested that the Commerce Committee could resurrect its Communications Subcommittee—eliminated by then-Chairman John McCain some years ago—and that Dorgan could be tapped to chair that panel.

President-Elect Barack Obama has indicated he is in favor of net neutrality principles.