Months after the Net neutrality rules were applied to some broadband service providers in December, the rules are now facing uncertainty. Republican members in the House and the Senate are striving to undo the Federal Communications Commission’s vote with the belief that the rules are “unnecessary and outside statutory authority of the FCC,” according to CNET.
Opponents of Net neutrality are calling for Open Internet rules, which will ultimately prohibit blockage of lawful content, Web sites, applications, and devices. It aims to eliminate unnecessary discrimination in handing data packets and also increase transparency by calling for detailed disclosures of network management practices.
CNET sees the new rules passing in the House since Republicans only need a few Democrats to stand in support of them. Conflict may arise when the rules reach President Obama, who supports the FCC. Sources from CNET see Obama’s reaction as 50/50, either opting to veto the new rules or to accept them in favor of “horse-trading” for other legislation. Regardless of whether or not the new rules are passed, Republicans are reported as having other means of achieving their goals.
Last Thursday, for example, the Republican-controlled House passed an amendment to the pending budget bill that would bar the FCC from any spending on the implementation and enforcement of these new rules. Ten Democrats were in support of this endeavor.
As reported by CNET, the Net neutrality rules is the first issue to be tackled by the new Congress and may set the tone for other decisions–like healthcare, budget, and financial reform–in the future.
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