WASHINGTON, October 31, 2009 - This week Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., added to the growing number of network neutrality-related bills when she filed legislation that would ban the Federal Communications Commission from regulating internet access, as proposed last week by Chairman Julius Genachowski.
Blackburn’s measure, H.R. 3924, is intended “to prohibit the FCC from further regulating the Internet.”
In a statement, she said FCC rules “ironically would make the Internet less neutral by allowing the FCC to regulate it in the same way it regulates radio and television broadcasts.”
She said is concerned that potential rules would decrease the Internet’s efficiency, interrupt the flow of free ideas and information, and hurt the ability of industry to protect intellectual property online. The Blackburn bill currently has 19 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Also, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had introduced legislation, S.1836 on October 22 that would prevent further FCC regulation of the Internet. In a statement, he said that the “government takeover of the Internet will stifle innovation, in turn slowing our economic turnaround and further depressing an already anemic job market.” He said the wireless industry exploded over the past 20 years due to limited government regulation – but has been hurt recently by state and federal regulations. McCain’s measure has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
From the opposite perspective, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., remains a vocal supporter of the network neutrality concept. “The Internet enables innovation without permission, and we need to ensure that special interests cannot erect toll booths on the information superhighway that impede the innovation that has helped power our economy and create jobs,” he said this month.
Markey filed pro-Net neutrality legislation, H.R.3458, in July. Markey’s bill has eight cosponsors, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
Waxman, along with Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John D. (“Jay”) Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., sent a letter this month in support of the FCC’s proposed rules.
In September, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., a co-author of Markey’s legislation, voiced support for the FCC’s plan to go ahead with the rules. She noted in a statement that the area she represents, Silicon Valley, “has a long history of support for open networks.” She said she was one of the first House members to introduce net neutrality legislation in the House.
Other lawmakers continue to weigh in on the net neutrality debate without legislation. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said in a statement on October 23 that she was concerned about how the FCC’s proposed rules could impact the investment incentives and decisions of small rural communications providers.
- Panelists Debate Federal Role in Digital Privacy, But Agree Upon Need to Minimize Algorithmic Bias
- FCC ‘Coloring Outside the Lines’ on Broadband Mapping, Say Critics at Next Century Cities Event
- Broadband Advocates at Next Century Cities Emphasize Importance of Building Community Networks
- Advocates for Digital Inclusion Address Different Facets of Bridging the Digital Divide
- New America Highlights the Broadband Prices Available on Ammon, Idaho’s Open Access Network
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Open Access4 weeks ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
China2 months ago
Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Broadband Mapping & Data3 months ago
Broadband Data From Providers Needs to be Checked With Data From Users, Say Panelists at Mapping Event
Open Access3 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Partnerships with Morgan, Utah, Idaho Falls, and Other Cities
FCC1 month ago
Telephony Industry Rises to the Challenge of Robocalls, With Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement Close Behind
Education3 months ago
State Educational Technology Officials Say Better Broadband Necessary for Pedagogy and Equity
FCC Workshops2 weeks ago
Indian Tribes Will Have Six-Month Window of Opportunity to Apply for Former EBS Spectrum at 2.5 GigaHertz
FCC2 months ago
As Next Year’s C-Band Auction Looms, FCC Officials Reflect on Innovation in Spectrum Auctions