US Democratic lawmakers look to restore net neutrality

Bills in the House and Senate would restore the FCC's rules after an appeals court threw them out

A group of Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives to restore net neutrality rules at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The two bills, introduced Monday, come about three weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia Circuit struck down rules, passed by the FCC in late 2010, prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic.

The new bill, called the Open Internet Preservation Act, would restore the FCC's net neutrality, or open Internet, rules. The rules would remain in effect until the FCC takes new action on net neutrality, after the court left open the agency's authority to pass new rules if it finds a new way to write them.

Among the nine Democratic cosponsors in the House are Representatives Henry Waxman, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui of California. Among the six Senate cosponsors are Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Al Franken of Minnesota and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

The bill faces an uphill battle in the House, where majority Republicans pushed to repeal the FCC's net neutrality rules before the appeals court threw them out.

"The Internet is an engine of economic growth because it has always been an open platform for competition and innovation," Waxman, senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement. "Our bill very simply ensures that consumers can continue to access the content and applications of their choosing online."

Waxman called on the FCC to take action on net neutrality, but said the bill would "protect" consumers and innovators in the meantime.

The bill may meet a more receptive audience in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

"The open nature of the Internet has made it the most successful commercial and communications medium in history," Markey said in a statement. "The Internet's vitality and openness drives competition, innovation and job creation and we need to ensure it remains a level playing field for consumers and innovators in the wake of the D.C. circuit court decision."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. SenatetelecommunicationAnna EshooAl FrankenlegislationDoris MatsuiEd MarkeyU.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia CircuitbroadbandZoe LofgrenRon WydenU.S. House of RepresentativesHenry WaxmanU.S. Federal Communications Commissiongovernment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?