US House passes bill to reinstate stricter net neutrality rules

  • United States
  • 04/11/2019
  • Telecompaper

The US House of Representatives has approved the ‘Save the Internet Act’ to restore the previous net neutrality rules. The vote went largely along party lines, with the Democrats small majority in the House passing the draft law. The bill must still pass the Senate, which is controlled by the Republicans. Even if it does so, the White House has said it would veto the law.

Democrats in the House introduced the legislation last month, after taking control of the House of Representatives at the start of this year. The ‘Save the Internet Act’ would restore the FCC’s previous ‘Open Internet’ regulation passed in 2015 under the Obama administration, which set stricter rules for how ISPs could manage traffic. These were largely abandoned by the new FCC chairman Ajit Pai in 2017, and from June 2018, internet services are no longer considered a telecom service regulated by the FCC. Instead, they fall under the general consumer protection oversight of the Federal Trade Commission.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier that the bill would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate. The White House also said that aides would recommend President Donald Trump veto the bill, as it reinstates unnecessary regulation of the internet.

The FCC chairman also issued a statement, reiterating his opposition to the former rules. “This legislation is a big-government solution in search of a problem. The Internet is free and open, while faster broadband is being deployed across America,” Pai said. “This bill should not and will not become law.”—1288506