WRAL: Republican Senate candidates don't back net neutrality

At WRAL's @NCCapitol column online today, the lack of support for net neutrality rules expressed by all four Republican Senate candidates is highlighted. Greg Too-Much-Coffee Brannon says it's not in the Constitution, while the rest see it as a government intrusion on private business.

Astute BlueNC readers will realize that WRAL, as a local tv station, already benefits from a basic FCC regulation - because of the limited bandwidth for tv channels on cable systems, they are required to carry signals from all local stations in their market to create a fair playing field for all broadcasters with cable customers.

If the same type of rules aren't applied to Internet service providers - and many are cable companies - local stations wouldn't be offered the same bandwidth as national media outlets to offer local streamed programming through their web outlets.

The piece notes that Kay Hagan has expressed vague support for net neutrality in 2008. With the strong interest in Internet connectivity in the Triad, Triangle and Charlotte by professionals in a variety of businesses, net neutrality could be one of those small wedge issues that might make a difference in the race.

Congress has the power to fix the net neutrality problem with the stroke of a pen. Who you vote as your Senator or Representative could have a major impact on how much you pay for Internet access and what you can see for decades to come.

Why is net neutrality such a big deal? Read this column by Cory Doctorow to find out more.