Thursday, June 11, 2015

Report: Funding Bill Could Delay Net Neutrality

A House appropriations bill released Wednesday would block the Federal Communication Commission from implementing its net neutrality rules until the courts weigh in on the issue.

The Hill reports the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill for the 2016 fiscal year includes funding for the communications regulator that falls $73 million below what the agency requested. In total, the bill grants the agency $315 million. It was introduced by the House Appropriations Committee and includes $20.2 billion in total funding for a number of agencies.

Included in the bill is a provision designed to stop implementation of the net neutrality rules until the issue has finished winding its way through the courts. It says that none of the funds in the bill can be used to “implement, administer, or enforce” the rules until three legal challenges are resolves.
The cases in question are brought by Alamo Broadband, CenturyLink and trade group U.S. Telecom.

Unless the courts rule otherwise, the net neutrality order will take effect on Friday.

The bill includes a line specifically banning rate regulation by the FCC for either standard broadband service or wireless service. Conservatives say that the net neutrality order will open the door to rate regulation by the agency.

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