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ICYMI: Democrats Push Partisan Net Neutrality Bill


03.26.19

WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, led by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), held its first markup of the “Save the Internet Act” today. This legislation does not ensure a free an open internet, instead it discards twenty years of bipartisan consensus and paves the way for a heavily regulated internet.

Meanwhile, Republicans have offered a sincere menu of options that build on key principles of a permanent solution, legislation that addresses blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. Republican leaders wrote a letter to Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) requesting the Subcommittee work together to create a bipartisan law. Despite these appeals, Democrats continue to push forward with a purely partisan approach that could provide the federal government near unlimited and unchecked authority to regulate the internet, from decisions over content, to levying taxes and fees for internet access.

Here are a few key perspectives on how the Democratic approach does not establish an internet that protects consumers and allows for American ingenuity to thrive.

USA Today: Democrats’ latest net neutrality bill is a partisan death sentence for internet innovation

“Sadly, however, instead of trying to fix this mess, the latest effort by Democratic leaders in Congress is not a well-reasoned policy solution but rather a cynical partisan maneuver.

Let’s be clear. Congress has plenty of authority under the Constitution to protect the open internet without resorting to Title II and the legal gyrations that have tripped up regulators. It can strike a better balance between open internet protections and incentives for continued internet growth. It can better tune the law to a modern infrastructure that differs radically from the phone system. And it can stop the endless court proceedings by shoring up regulatory authority.

The internet is not crumbling. It is not grinding to a slow trickle. It does not need saving by a government superhero with regulatory super powers. It just needs a set of simple rules, backed by clear authority to ensure its open nature remains unchanged. A moderate solution is within reach, if only our leaders would take it.”

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Click here to read the full article online.

East Oregon: A permanent solution to net neutrality for rural Oregon

Representative Walden introduced legislation that codifies into law permanent prohibitions on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization for internet traffic, and requires that ISPs be transparent in their network management practices and prices.

Representative Bob Latta, from Ohio, introduced a bill that includes important net neutrality protections without reclassifying broadband into the Title II framework that is overly burdensome and can harm investment in broadband expansion that we have seen in Oregon. This legislation is drawn directly from a bill that the last Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee proposed in 2010.

Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, from Washington State, has introduced legislation that mirrors a state law from our neighbor to the north that also prohibits blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. This bill was passed by a Democratic legislature in Washington and signed into law by a Democratic governor.

All these proposals provide permanent net neutrality solutions that will protect consumers, innovation, and an open internet. This is something only Congress can do, but we need bipartisan support to do it the right way.

Click here to read the full article online.

Innovation Files: The Wrong Way and the Right Way on Net Neutrality

Today the FCC has no clear authority to establish net neutrality rules in a way that is not politically controversial. Yes, there is the higher order uncertainty about the FCC’s discretion to classify broadband as either a common carrier under Title II of the Communications Act or as a more lightly regulated information service under Title I. This the “ping-pong” problem that has seen dramatic swings in the fundamental framework for regulating broadband. But this isn’t the only problem — simply reinstating the Open Internet Order in statute doesn’t cut it.

Resurrecting the Open Internet Order brings back all the uncertainty and possibility of extensive regulatory intervention that stifles innovation and investment. There is a false idea out there that, because the FCC forbore from applying some sections of the law, that potential slide into true utility regulation doesn’t have a real impact on business decisions looking five or ten years down the road.

Click here to read the full article online.

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