Feeds

Congressman pitches bill to disarm FCC in net neutrality warfare

Proposal would take 'nuclear option' off the table

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

An Ohio congressman is seeking to strip the FCC of its biggest weapon in the battle over net-neutrality protections.

Republican representative Bob Latta says that his HR 4752 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 in order to remove the portion of the act which would allow the FCC to reclassify broadband services.

That portion of the bill, dubbed Title II, grants the FCC the power to name broadband a "common carrier" platform, which would make it — and, more importantly, its providers — subject to strict non-discrimination rules that could prevent those providers from prioritizing the delivery of certain types of traffic.

The ability to invoke Title II has been seen as a "nuclear option" for the FCC in its efforts to put net neutrality regulations in place.

Opponents and critics of the FCC's Open Internet campaign have suggested that the threat of Title II be taken off the table or removed outright from the FCC's toolkit. Arguing that the commission is trying to impose regulation on the internet, Latta is looking to remove the option from the discussion.

"The Internet has remained open and continues to be a powerful engine fueling private enterprise, economic growth and innovation absent government interference and obstruction," the congressman said.

"My legislation will provide all participants in the internet ecosystem the certainty they need to continue investing in broadband networks and services that have been fundamental for job creation, productivity and consumer choice."

Not surprisingly, the bill is being championed by telecommunications industry groups. The Telecommunications Industry Association and other lobbying groups have already offered endorsements for Latta's proposed act.

Meanwhile, net neutrality backers such as Free Press claim that Latta is looking to handcuff the FCC in order to let ISPs dictate how the internet will operate.

"Without that authority — provided under Title II of the Communications Act — the FCC lacks any effective means to stop internet discrimination," the group writes in a blog post.

"Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable could forge ahead with their plans to create a two-tiered internet, striking special fast-lane deals with websites and services that they like, while relegating the rest of us to slower and congested ones," they write.

Legislative bids to block net neutrality efforts are likely to pick up in the coming weeks and months as the FCC continues to work on passing its proposed Open Internet rules. A report from the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation found that lobbying groups opposing net neutrality outspent backers by a margin of roughly three to one.

The commission angered groups on both sides of the argument when it introduced a set of proposals which would allow for limited implementation of internet "fast lanes" while still maintaining control by the FCC to limit anti-competitive deals. The proposal remains open for public comment. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.