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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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A diverse group of Democratic lawmakers from the House and Senate came together Wednesday to introduce a bill which would restore the concept of “net neutrality” over the Internet.
Called the Save the Internet Act, the legislation would reverse the repeal by Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late 2017 of net neutrality protections which had been put in place by the Obama administration.
In general, the concept of net neutrality essentially means service providers should treat all Internet communication equally and not discriminate or charge differently based on user, content, website, platform, application, type of equipment, or method of communication, according to its definition.
The adoption of net neutrality regulations the Obama years was seen as a big win for consumers.
Repealing net neutrality was part of the Trump administration’s overall highly deregulatory approach.
The new legislation would enact the three legacy net neutrality principles – no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization – and empowers the FCC to prohibit unjust, unreasonable and discriminatory practices, the bill’s supporters say.
The legislation also would ensure consumers could make informed decisions when shopping for internet plans and restores the FCC’s authority to fund broadband access and deployment, particularly for rural communities and struggling Americans.
The Save the Internet Act would codify the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order in a similar manner to last year’s Congressional Review Act that passed the Senate and had bipartisan support in the House, bill sponsors say.
“The free and open Internet is a pillar of our democracy,” says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “It is an honor to join Democrats from both sides of the Capitol to introduce this strong legislation, which honors the will of the millions of Americans speaking out to demand an end to the Trump assault on net neutrality. Democrats are proudly taking bold action to restore net neutrality protections: lowering costs and increasing choice for consumers, giving entrepreneurs a level playing field on which to compete, helping bring broadband to every corner of the country, and ensuring that American innovation and entrepreneurialism can continue to be the envy of the world.”