The House of Representatives recently voted 241-178 to adopt a one page resolution that says that the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality regulations will have no affect. According to Representative Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), “Congress did not authorize the FCC to regulate in this area. We must reject any rules that it promulgates in this area… It is Congress’ responsibility to delegate that authority.”
Fewer than ten Democrats supported this resolution, which leads many to believe that if the resolution is passed it will in fact be vetoed by President Obama. Especially since the White House released a statement saying, “”If the president is presented with a Resolution of Disapproval that would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution.”
When the FCC’s originally gave it’s Net Neutrality regulations neither side was happy with the results. People for Net Neutrality didn’t feel the regulations did enough, calling it Net Neutrality Lite, and those against it felt that they were still too strict.
These FCC’s net neutrality rules state that cable, DSL and broadband companies cannot block websites, must allow people to use software and devices of their choosing. It also requires that internet providers must be more transparent if they are using traffic-management software. Mobile internet providers, have lesser standards, but are prohibited from blocking VOIP applications, such as Skype or Video services like YouTube or Netflix, that may compete with their own offerings.
Verizon and MetroPCS have challenged the rules, but were told by the courts they must wait until the rules are published in the Federal Register. Republican Fred Upton from Michigan said, “These new regulations will cause more harm than good by stifling innovation, investments, and jobs. It will harm the network core of the internet, and therefore threaten the architecture that web providers on the edge depend on.”
While several Democrats said in a press release that they disagree with these statements. “Internet access providers have always lived with basic rules of the road, and ‘no blocking’ was chief among them,” Mike Doyle (D-Pennsylvania). “Those basic rules of the road are what turned the internet into the economic engine it is today. Now some broadband providers don’t want to play by those rules. They want the right to block what you get to see. I don’t want to live in a country where it’s legal to block websites like it is in oppressive regimes like Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.”
It seems that even though House Republicans have passed this resolution, it really has no bearing. Democrats control the Senate, and President Obama has stated that he will veto any attempt to stifle net neutrality regulations.
Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/house-passes-anti-net-neutrality-resolution-white-house-warns-of-veto.ars