Conspicuously absent from the telecommunications overhaul passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month was an amendment guaranteeing "net neutrality," the idea that telephone, cable, and other broadband providers shouldn't favor certain web sites or services simply because they are willing to pay higher fees or make special arrangements to transmit data (see story: Schools seek 'net neutrality'). Now, as action on the legislation switches to the Senate, lawmakers there appear sharply divided over the issue.

At least eight of the 10 Democratic members of the Senate Commerce Committee have joined Republican Olympia Snowe


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