Friday, May 27, 2016

Republicans Move To Gut FCC, Crush Net Neutrality

A new budget proposal would effectively bar the FCC from enforcing its net neutrality provisions.

Buried deep within the House Appropriations Committee budget proposal is a set of new rules that limit the FCC's ability to use its funds for activities including the regulation of "prices, other fees, or data caps and allowances" for broadband internet providers, according to The Register.

Additionally, the budget proposal calls for the regulator to be blocked from enforcing any of the rules it laid out in its February 2015 order on open internet access until a handful of court cases filed by telecom groups challenging the FCC rules can be resolved.

The provisions would effectively paralyze efforts by the Democrat-leaning FCC to enforce any of the open internet rules it passed last year, a goal that many House Republicans have been seeking to accomplish for some time, arguing that the FCC's red-tape is an unneeded incursion by the government into the private sector.

The bill also aims to bar the FCC from setting up any network of its own, with the exception of a network that "blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography."

The bill still, however, faces opposition. Even if the House passes the budget recommendations in a floor vote, President Obama would be able to veto the changes – though striking down an entire budget proposal would likely be more difficult than simply vetoing a single bill.

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