GOP Moves To Nix Open Internet Rules

Capitol-Hill

Republicans in the House and Senate on Wednesday introduced resolutions that would vacate the Federal Communications Commission's recent Net neutrality order.

The Senate resolution of disapproval was introduced by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), a longtime opponent of neutrality regulation. She was joined by 39 other Senators. In the House, Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) are leading the effort to vacate the regulations.

"From the Internet's inception, we have taken a hands-off approach. The Internet did not become the explosive driver of communications and economic growth it is today until we turned it over to free enterprise," Walden said in a statement accompanying the resolution. "Changing direction now will only harm innovation and the economy."

The resolutions of disapproval won't take effect unless passed by a majority in the House and Senate and also signed by the president.

President Barack Obama has said in the past that he supports Net neutrality; he also was classmates with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski at Harvard Law School.

The resolutions were offered only hours after the House Energy and Commerce Committee grilled all five Federal Communications Commission members for more information about the neutrality order they approved 3-2 in December. That order bans all broadband providers -- wireline and wireless -- from blocking sites or competing applications. It also prohibits wireline broadband providers from engaging in unreasonable discrimination.

House Republicans have said that the FCC lacks authority to issue neutrality rules and that such regulations are unnecessary. Democrats, on the other hand, generally support the FCC's order.

Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in his opening statement that he wishes the FCC had gone even further than it did in crafting neutrality rules.

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4 comments about "GOP Moves To Nix Open Internet Rules ".
  1. Steve Taylor from RPM Freight , February 16, 2011 at 8:56 p.m.

    It is UNBELIEVABLE how congressman Kay Hutchison (R-Texas) is trying to allow big companies to completely control the content of what we see on the internet. If she succeeds, corporations (and they may not necessarily be U.S. based companies!) will control what you are allowed to download in your home. She must have been guaranteed something very good to side with large corporations over we the people. WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR - TELL THEM TO SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY - or we will all be in trouble.

  2. Robert Repas from Machine Design Magazine , February 17, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.

    The threat that Net Neutrality will stifle innovation and economic progress is totally unbelievable to anyone with an ounce of intelligence. On the contrary, without Neutrality, carriers can block innovative actions by small entrepreneurs, they can kill economic progress by denying consumers access to markets, stores, and institutions, they can shape public opinion by preventing access to opposing points of view, they can degrade consumer confidence by offering only the lowest limbs of the Internet tree to those disadvantaged while offering higher (and juicier) fruits to those who can afford to pay.

    I have nothing against charging more for higher access speeds, but at any speed, Net Neutrality assures I can get to where I want to go on the Internet. Maybe not as well or as fast, but I CAN get there. Without it, you leave yourself open to the whims of others.

  3. Thomas Siebert from WOLFGANG SOLO: Strategic Communications & Benevolent Propaganda , February 17, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.

    The modern Republican party is about controlling the masses to serve corporate interests. The Internet challenges that. Thus, the Internet must be turned into an instrument under corporate control.

    The shakeout is coming. It's happening across the Middle East, it's begun here. You see it happening right now in Wisconsin. Those in power are watching what's happening in WIsconsin very closely, I'm sure.

  4. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc. , February 18, 2011 at 2:02 p.m.

    There are only two types of people who don't support Net Neutrality - people who don't actually understand what it means and puppet-shills of big money corporations. The whole "hands off or stifle innovation" argument just show how "in the pocket" some of these two-faced liars really are. At a certain point, if the vast majority of Americans are stupid enough to play into the hands of these crooks - they deserve what they get. My ticket for 2012? Palin / Tancredo, baby - just look what he did for Hickelooper in Denver!