California Democrats Push for Restoration of Open Internet Order Through New Legislation

California US Reps. Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo (both Democrats) submitted legislation this week that would reinstate the net neutrality rules recently struck down by a D.C Federal Appeals Court decision. Rules that were part of the Open Internet Order preventing Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against content were vacated last month after a Federal Judge said that the Federal Communications Commission failed to properly justify its authority to implement them. The FCC could implement the rules from its Open Internet Order again by reclassifying Internet providers as common carriers.

The new bill, called the "Open Internet Preservation Act" is sponsored by Waxman and Eshoo, both members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The bill would reinstate the totality of the Open Internet Order until such time as the "Federal Communications Commission (FCC) takes new final action in the Open Internet proceeding." A similar bill will be introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) soon, suggesting that Net Neutrality is an important issue in both houses of Congress – at least to some lawmakers.

“With the recent DC Circuit appeals court ruling, the open Internet as we know it suffered a blow," Eshoo said in an announcement. "By striking down rules that prevented broadband providers from discriminating against or even blocking online content, the Court’s decision threatens the openness and freedom that has defined the success of the Internet. Although the Court struck down the FCC’s ‘no-blocking’ and ‘nondiscrimination’ rules, it explicitly affirmed the agency’s authority to oversee broadband services in the United States. I’m introducing legislation today to reinstate the FCC’s open Internet rules until the Commission adopts replacement rules. This bill ensures that consumers, not their Internet service provider, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to their online experience."

While proponents of the FCC's Open Internet Order applaud the efforts, most agree that the House bill is unlikely to pass in a Republican controlled Congress. Most of the Republican members are happy with the ruling in the federal courts.

You can learn more about the bill here.

Source: Ars Technica

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone