Rep. Billy Tauzin
Billy Tauzin, R-LA., was pleased as punch to finally win the Chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce earlier this year
Billy Tauzin, R-LA., was pleased as punch to finally win the Chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce earlier this year. While the world lay at his feet, with both houses of Congress firmly in Republican control, it was time to return some big favors to the powerful corporate interests that helped get him elected: BellSouth, SBC Communications, Verizon Communications and U S West. And so Tauzin sponsored the Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act, with the ostensible goal of improving rural Internet access. But many people see the bill as nothing more than a thinly disguised effort to gut the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by allowing the regional Bells to get out of forced line-sharing arrangements, wholesale unbundling of high-speed data lines and restrictions on offering long-distance data traffic. Luckily, the absurd legislation is dead on arrival in the newly Democratic Senate. Billy, bubba, we phone this raspberry to you!