'Save the Internet' Bill Tries to Revive Net Neutrality Rules

Stabenow, Peters introduce legislation to reinstate Net Neutrality

Democrats unveil bill to revive net neutrality

Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate introduced a bill March 6 to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules, CNBC reports. "People in MI depend on reliable, high-speed internet to run their businesses, get an education, and succeed in their daily lives". "That law empowers the FCC to prevent unlawful discrimination by ISPs, even when these companies' tactics and tricks might not run afoul of the bright-line Net Neutrality rules in the 2015 order".

Called the "Save the Internet Act of 2019" (PDF), the bill is largely a push by Democratic members of the House and Senate, in what has become a partisan issue.

In 2015, a Federal Communications Commission regulation barred internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast from playing favorites with websites and apps, slowing traffic or creating fast lanes for online content at a premium price.

Hearings on the net neutrality legislation will begin next week in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The OpenMedia community was part of the effort to restore the 2015 Open Internet Order through the Congressional Review Act (CRA) previous year, and strongly believes that Net Neutrality is critical to providing an equal and open Internet to everyone. President Trump would also have his veto at the ready.

Republicans argue that the approach taken by the House and Senate Democrats using the Communications Act, is too much of a blunt instrument.

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Net neutrality is the idea that all internet content and users should be treated equally by internet services providers (ISPs). The resolution passed in the Senate but never made it through the House, which was in Republican hands at the time.

The "Save the Internet Act" seeks to enact the three pillars of net neutrality-no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization by large internet service providers (ISPs).

The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted in May 2018 to reinstate the rules, but the House did not take up the issue before Congress adjourned past year. But the flip side there is the fact that they are also able to increase their profits, tenfold. Even getting a simple majority will be tougher than past year because Republicans gained two seats in the Senate and now hold a 53-47 advantage. And it has proven wrong the many hysterical predictions of doom from 2017, most notably the fantasy that market-based regulation would bring about "the end of the Internet as we know it.' The Internet in America today is free and vibrant, and the main thing it needs to be saved from is heavy-handed regulation from the 1930s".

By classifying ISPs as "common carriers", the FCC can enforce net neutrality rules, if and when they exist.

"The Save the Internet Act reinstates the legal framework that ensures that the Internet will remain open and free", said Gigi Sohn, who was counselor to former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

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