New Net Neutrality Laws Come Under Attack
(The Hosting News) – House Republicans have recently attacked the new rules for broadband internet and criticized the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for adopting them. Republicans have directly targeted the “net neutrality” regulations, which bans internet service providers from blocking or slowing down their services. They are also focused on the new laws in such areas as health care and the environment, which they find unnecessary and encumbering on the industry.
“Why would you put the government in charge of the Internet?” asked Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Democrat Julius Genachowski, also serving as FCC chairman, defended these new laws during the hearing stating the FCC “did the right thing” and that it is “pro-job and pro-investment” towards the U.S. economy.
Many democratic lawmakers stood on Mr. Genachowski’s defense. Some felt the FCC hadn’t gone far enough in regulating the internet. They stated that the agency should have a more firm and established handle on it own authority to control and regulate the internet by using rules designed for land-line phones.
“Without some clear rules of the road, large companies can carve up the Internet into fast and slow lanes, charging a toll for content and blocking innovators from entering the information superhighway,” says Representative Anna Eshoo, who deals with many Silicon Valley companies in her district.
Attempting to use various legislative venues, including an amendment that would budget legislation and stop funding to the FCC to implement these new rules, Republicans are attempting to stop the new net neutrality rules. Wednesday, Republican leaders in the House and Senate proposed a resolution that would overturn the rules using the Congressional Review Act. While this effort could win the congressional approval, it is unlikely to be enacted since it would need the approval of President Barack Obama, who is in favor of the FCC’s new net neutrality rules.
These new rules now prohibit phone and cable companies from blocking or slowing legal internet traffic and force internet service providers to provide their customers with more information about their services and traffic speeds.
Some feel that these rules could stale new investments in broadband networks by limiting providers’ management and profiting abilities. And even more question whether the FCC has any legal authority to enfore such changes, of which the courts will soon decide.
While some have their disagreements others feel that these rules are needed in order to prevent companies from exerting power over internet traffic.
Verizon Communications Inc. and MetroPCS Communications Inc. have both sued to overturn these new rules and more lawsuits are expected to show around spring this year. Last year, the D.C. Appeals Court ruled that the FCC had overstepped its authority when it reprimanded Comcast Corp. for intentionally slowing their subscribers’ internet download speeds.
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