US House passes ‘net neutrality’ bill unlikely to become law

Yolanda Curtis
April 11, 2019

Now the Save the Internet Act of 2019 will go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it's likely to be voted down along party lines.

Both sides in the debate say they are defending the "free and open" internet.

The net-neutrality saga continued as tech companies and almost two dozen US states sued to undo the 2017 repeal and restore the 2015 measure. This Democrat-sponsored legislation would nullify the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule on "Restoring Internet Freedom", 83 Fed. In addition, the bill would restore the FCC's authority to regulate and oversee broadband networks.

On Monday, the White House said it "strongly opposes" the bill, signaling President Trump would veto it. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the bill was "dead on arrival in the Senate".

The latest legislative effort comes amid a legal showdown over the repeal.

The Republican-led FCC dismantled the rules in 2017, arguing that the net neutrality regulation was heavy-handed and discouraged investment.

Representative Mike Doyle, a Democrat, said Wednesday that after repealing net neutrality protections the FCC had replaced them with "nothing, nada, zip, crickets".

"Net Neutrality is now one step closer to being reinstated as the law of the land", Gigi Sohn, a counselor to former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and a staunch supporter of net neutrality, said in a statement Wednesday. That means that if the Democrats get their way, rules prohibiting blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of internet access would be codified into law, making it more hard for changing FCC leadership to flip-flop the rules.

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.

The concern among net neutrality advocates is that the repeal risks giving internet providers too much control over how online content is delivered.

"Last year, the FCC returned to the light-touch regulatory scheme that enabled the internet to develop and thrive for almost two decades by promoting the internet freedom and encouraging network investment", the White House's statement read.

Other reports by iNewsToday