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U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes 190

An anonymous reader writes: A proposal from Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate would require the FCC to stop ISPs from creating "internet fast lanes." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, "Americans are speaking loud and clear. They want an Internet that is a platform for free expression and innovation, where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider." Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) added, "A free and open Internet is essential for consumers. Our country cannot afford 'pay-for-play' schemes that divide our Internet into tiers based on who has the deepest pockets." Unfortunately, this is only half a solution — the bill doesn't actually add to the FCC's authority. It only requires them to use the authority they currently have, which is questionable at best.
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U.S. Democrats Propose Legislation To Ban Internet Fast Lanes

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  • Re:Just do SOMETHING (Score:5, Informative)

    by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:49PM (#47257201)

    The Republican bill that would remove ISPs from FCC regulation would allow states to regulate. It would make rent seeking a lot more difficult for ISPs.

    Not bloody likely. States are already busy shutting down competition for the incumbent ISPs [].

  • Re:Just do SOMETHING (Score:5, Informative)

    by drakaan ( 688386 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @03:59PM (#47257293) Homepage Journal

    No, the problem is that the judicial branch told the FCC that *until* they classify ISPs as common carriers, they don't have the authority to mandate anything with regards to paid prioritization or de-prioritization.

    With Mr. Wheeler in charge, there doesn't seem to be much impetus to reclassify the ISPs in that way.

    I am an independent who often votes republican, and I believe that the republican bill as currently laid out is a bad plan. Internet service is a utility in the 21st century, and should be treated that way.

  • Re:Just do SOMETHING (Score:5, Informative)

    by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Tuesday June 17, 2014 @06:04PM (#47258397) Homepage

    He was a cable lobbyist (sort of--he was head of the largest cable trade association, and that association did do lobbying among other things) 30 years ago, when cable was the underdog trying to provide an alternative to the big broadcasters, and there was no such thing as a cable ISP because the public internet did not exist yet.

    He worked for the wireless trade group 10 years ago.

    Also in there he founded or was a heavy investor in several companies that were more on the content provider side of things, and would be hurt by a lack of net neutrality. There is no evidence that he is any more influenced by his very old (and irrelevant to internet) cable association or his more recent but still old wireless association than by his association with those other companies that were on the content side of things.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents