Here’s Congress’s Net Neutrality Bill That Would Render the FCC Helpless
For now, it's just a bill sitting there on Capitol Hill.
Congress has produced a bill that, if enacted, would take away the FCC’s authority to reclassify broadband Internet as a utility in the interest of net neutrality. However, the bill itself includes protections for net neutrality with specific language that would ban the paid “Internet fast lanes” currently at the center of the debate.
But not everyone is happy with that solution, and President Obama recently made a push for the FCC to go the reclassification route. He also wants the agency to overturn state laws that prevent cities and towns from creating their own broadband networks, and the bill would seemingly strip the FCC of the powers of Internet oversight that it needs to do that, as well.
It’s also worrying that the bill has protections for current net neutrality concerns, but anything not expressly forbidden by the language of the bill would be out of the FCC’s hands to field as a complaint. That could cause problems in the future if new issues arise and lawmakers are slow to address them.
Still, it’s surprising at this point to see a bill come from GOP members of congress that actually addresses the main concerns of ISPs prioritizing Internet traffic and stifling the innovation of smaller entities who can’t pay up. This is more along the lines of what we would’ve expected:
“Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
The bill still has a long way to go and may never make it into law, but you can read its relatively short text for yourself if you’re not sure how you feel about it:
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