With the death of the last year’s video franchising-Net neutrality bill, Democrats have now firmly taken the reins on telecommunications policy in Congress. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii., has legislation designed to map out the availability of broadband, or high-speed Internet connections, in the United States, and it passed out of committee on July 19. Now, this week, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced an online effort to write national broadband strategy legislation. He will joined by several telecommunications and Internet experts in open-comment blogging sessions for four nights from July 24 – 27 at OpenLeft.com. Durbin says he will be crafting legislation based on the input he gets during those sessions. He will then post drafts of that legislation online for more feedback before filing it as a bill.