Last month, the Democrats introduced a simple three-page bill that would do one thing: re-establish the FCC network neutrality rules and the agency's authority over ISPs, both of which were stripped down by an extremely tough decision. controversial agency late 2017.
On Tuesday morning, the Save the Internet Act was put to a vote and a review by the House committee – despite last-minute efforts by major telecom companies to weaken the bill.
"Inside the ring road, it is actually about five companies," said representative Anna Eshoo during the hearing. "Across the country, the American people really understand that. National polls show that Republicans, Democrats and independents are in favor of net neutrality. We are still in the same old pot here. We must remove our lenses and look around the country. "
Poll after poll, it has been shown that the vast majority of bipartisan Americans supported the 2015 FCC rules and opposed its repeal. But the FCC Trump quickly succumbed to pressure from telecom giants such as AT & T, Verizon and Comcast, despite their long-standing role as natural monopolies to compete with nickel and dime competitors and subscribers. .
The repeal of Pai has not only put an end to network neutrality, but it has also significantly reduced the authority of the FCC on the major broadband providers, leaving any remaining authority to a criticism of the FTC (as the former boss of the FCC, Tom Wheeler), lacks the power and resources to control the telecom giants.
In the absence of competition or serious regulatory control to control them, these telecommunications giants will have carte blanche to abuse their role as an Internet portal, have repeatedly warned activists of the neutrality of the Internet.
Proponents of net neutrality were not surprised to applaud the progress of the bill.
"Net neutrality is coming back with vengeance," said Evan Greer, deputy director of the consumer advocacy group "Fight for the Future" in a statement.
"Politicians are slowly learning that they can no longer afford to spend more on big telecommunications," Greer said. "We are exploiting the power of the Internet to save it. All lawmakers who oppose us will soon be faced with the anger of their constituents, who want legislators to reinstate these basic protections.
Greer told the motherboard that several lawmakers had introduced several last-minute amendments during the mark-up period to dilute the bill, but all of them had been withdrawn as a result of the general interest shown of the audience.
"It seems the GOP has shrunk slightly after huge public support," said Greer, who told Motherboard that 300,000 people had watched the live stream of the organization's tagging process . This attention "really encouraged the Democrats and strengthened those who were shaking," said Greer.
The 2015 FCC Rules were developed through a decade of discussions, countless public hearings, and numerous legal victories for Internet neutrality advocates. As such, the activists say they consider any attempt to change the legislation as a failure, as the public clearly wants a complete restoration of the original rules.
Despite broad bipartisan consumer approval of net neutrality, telecommunications lobbyists have continued to encourage partisan divisions within Congress on this issue, which could make the bill difficult to enact. Even though it should be passed in the House, it should face a difficult climb in the Senate and should also avoid President Trump's veto.
If the legislation fails, the FCC's 2015 network neutrality rules can also be reinstated through a lawsuit filed against the FCC by 22 state attorneys general and companies like Mozilla, claiming that Pai's FCC ignored all the laws. objective data and that the general interest was precipitated. please the largest broadband providers in the nation.