US lawmaker wants to rebrand net neutrality

Anna Eshoo asks Reddit users to come up with a new description as a way to limit confusion of the issue

A U.S. lawmaker wants to rebrand the term net neutrality because its definition is confusing to many people.

Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat and backer of strong net neutrality rules, launched a rebranding contest on Reddit.com Thursday.

"Internet users know what they want and expect from the Internet, but these days all the jargon about net neutrality rules is making it difficult to know what box to check that advances their best interest," Eshoo said in statement. "If Internet users care about their right to uninhibited access to the Internet, [the contest] their opportunity to have an impact on the process, to help put the advantage back in the hands of the Internet user, and to ensure that the free and open Internet prevails."

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering new net neutrality rules after a U.S. appeals court earlier this year threw out a large portion of the agency's old version of the rules. In addition, to Eshoo's contest, people interested in the issue have until Sept. 15 to submit comments to the FCC.

In Eshoo's contest, the most popular post in the rebranding thread on Reddit will be the winner.

One Reddit user suggested that "Internet equality" replace net neutrality, while another suggested "Internet lanes" or "Internet limiting."

Others weren't as keen on the rebranding effort. "Let's work on fixing the problem instead of rebranding it and confusing people," one wrote.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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Tags governmentbroadbandregulationinternettelecommunicationredditInternet service providersU.S. Federal Communications CommissionAnna EshooU.S. Congress

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service
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