Anti-Net Neutrality Movement Gets House Approval
On Friday the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reverse the Net neutrality rules imposed by the Federal Communications Commission back in December 2010. In a 240-179 vote mostly down party lines, the FCC's regulations that would forbid telecommunications companies such as AT&T or Verizon to selectively curb bandwidth and block applications were deemed to resemble too much of a government takeover of the Internet. With a government shutdown looming, House Democrats questioned why such effort was exerted by Republicans to vote on this issue. They were concerned that reversing the FCC's regulations would curb innovation, allow broadband providers to restrict access to consumers, and trample on the democratic spirit.
"At such a moment of grave threat to our economic health, what are we doing on the floor today?" said Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat. "The Republican leadership insists on bringing to the floor a bill that will end the Internet as we know it and threaten the jobs, investment and prosperity the Internet has brought to America. This is an outrageous sense of priorities and policies."
Although consumer groups have applauded the FCC's December regulations, Republicans believe that those same rules that were meant to protect the end-user end up creating a larger issue: government regulation of the currently open and transparent Internet. The legislation still has to make its way through the Senate, and if it passes there too, President Barack Obama has made it clear that he will be vetoing the decision
Photo Credit: Energy Commerce