Democrats Working on Bill to Ban Internet Fast Lanes
If the FCC won’t do anything to save Net Neutrality from the corporations, some lawmakers will. Democratic congressmen from both the House and Senate have unveiled a new piece of legislation that will ban the creation of the so-called internet fast lanes by prohibiting the prioritization and speed of certain content over others.
The proposed bill, known as the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, is a direct response to the FCC’s proposed internet fast lanes that will allow for companies to pay ISPs for access to faster or more direct connections to the end-user.
The FCC’s previous net neutrality regulations were struck down by the Supreme Court in January after it said that the FCC’s rules weren’t legal so long as ISPs were classified as telecommunications companies. Rather than reclassifying ISPs as a more stringently regulated classification such as a utility, they’re working within the confines of the current ruling and classification.
The FCC might not even get a chance to reclassify ISPs if they wanted to. A Republican lawmaker introduced a bill in May that would prevent the reclassification of ISPs should it get passed into law. Neither that nor the Democratic bill are expected to get very far as the Republicans control the House of Representatives while the Democrats hold a majority in the Senate. That fact makes a bill passing both chambers of the US Congress very unlikely.
But let’s suppose for a moment that the law passes. Nobody seems to have analyzed what will happen if the US government legislates the return of a key portion of net neutrality. I’m no constitutional expert but I’d imagine that the law would have to be challenged in the court system and be struck down to kill net neutrality again. So hopefully this gets through the Congress. However, where there’s businesses’ interests at play, partisan bickering is bound to stall any hope we have for this bill getting through.
Source: Washington Post