House Passes Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

Lloyd Doyle
April 11, 2019

The U.S. House voted Wednesday to restore Obama-era net neutrality rules that would prevent broadband providers from blocking and throttling Internet speeds for economic gain.

The House passed HR 1644, the "Save the Internet Act of 2019", by a 232-190 vote on Wednesday.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai derided the "so-called Save the Internet Act" in a statement.

"President Trump and Mitch McConnell can say whatever they want, but the writing is on the wall: there is overwhelming public consensus in support of real net neutrality and it's only a matter of time before we win", said Evan Greer, deputy director of the internet freedom group Fight for the Future. This bill would force the FCC to regulate the internet in the same way it regulates TV for example.

The reversal of net neutrality rules has been a win for internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, but was opposed by companies like Facebook Inc, Inc and Alphabet Inc.

To that end, opponents of the House bill have slammed it as a political stunt aimed at rallying Democratic voters ahead of the 2020 presidential elections.

"Senators must know by now that people across party lines support Net Neutrality protections by large majorities", Aaron said. "We're still on the side of net neutrality, they're still not, and they believe they won at the FCC".

Critics of net neutrality counter that the rules could stifle investment and innovation, and claim the internet is not designed for utility-style regulation from the 1930s. "Additionally, the court may decide whether the FCC decision would pre-empt any state laws on net neutrality". Dozens of state attorneys general, tech companies including Mozilla and a host of consumer advocates sued the FCC previous year, arguing the agency had acted improperly in rolling back the Obama-era rules. A law adopted in California - seen by some advocates as tougher than even the rules implemented federally in 2015 - quickly drew a legal challenge from the Justice Department in a case that's still pending.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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