Dems Push For Stronger Net Neutrality Rules

While conservatives complain that the FCC and the Obama administration have gone too far with net neutrality (with some, like Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), going so far as to sponsor a bill to strip the FCC of any authority to regulate Internet access), Democrats have veered off into another direction. Democrats like Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) think that the FCC has not gone far enough.

This week the Senators introduced a billed called the "Internet Freedom, Broadband Promotion, and Consumer Protection Act of 2011." The bill would extend net neutrality rules to wireless networks. In light of consumer complaints and Verizon and MetroPCS already filing lawsuits, politicians believe that more is needed to combat practices that negatively impact consumers’ rights.

"The recent FCC ruling on net neutrality does not do nearly enough to protect consumers, and this bill is designed to maintain a free and open Internet," Franken said in a statement. Last week, during a speech Franken said that net neutrality is the "free speech issue of our time" and that the new FCC rules "will create essentially two Internets."

The new bill bans ISPs from doing a number of things including charging content or application providers access fees, prioritizing content, and "refusing to interconnect on just and reasonable terms and conditions." The bill also makes it clear that all of these rules apply to all forms of Internet access.

The chances of this bill passing in the senate are debatable, and in the House the chances are somewhere between slim and none.

Source: Ars Technica

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