'Save the Internet' bill seeks to reinstate net neutrality regulations

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 6
Wednesday's submission of the "Save the Internet Act" is attempting to reverse a repeal of regulations by the Federal Communications Commission in 2017.




The bill, advised by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday morning ahead of its reveal, is a continuation of attempts from 2018 to combat an FCC decision to repeal net neutrality protections. While the Senate passed a resolution to reinstate neutrality regulations, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives declined to carry on, something which the now Democrat-controlled version has decided to continue.

Today's bill effectively seeks to reinstate the same sort of protections offered by the application of Title II of the Communications Act on telecommunications providers, namely requiring internet providers to act as if they are offering a utility, such as water or electricity. All traffic that consumers request must be handled evenly with no favoritism or discrimination for or against specific services.

The original rules, brought in under former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, were prompted by claims of internet providers having the capability to create "fast lanes," striking deals with online services to offer the fastest possible connections to consumers, including providing priority for that service's traffic. It was also alleged internet providers had the opportunity to throttle internet traffic from specific sources, slowing down the connection and making them less attractive to consumers.

The latest bill, shared on Twitter by Senator Ed Markey, consists of just three pages, asks for the "restoration of (the) repealed and amended regulation" in question, as well as highlighting the original regulation's aims of "protecting and promoting the open internet."

Here's the Save The Internet Act of 2019 that nearly every Senate Democrat joined me in introducing today. 3 pages that will restore #NetNeutrality. Let's pass it and make the internet free and open again. #SaveTheNet pic.twitter.com/BCYtcmcMe3

-- Ed Markey (@SenMarkey)


"The Save the Internet Act would enact true net neutrality protections by codifying the FCC 2015 Open Internet Order as a new free-standing section of law, that would ensure the internet remains an open platform for innovation and competition," said Congressman Mike Doyle, chair of the House subcommittee for Communications and Technology.

Opponents of the bill are quick to offer criticism. In a statement provided to AppleInsider, American Action Network Presidnt Dan Conston claims "this legislation would shackle the Internet with outdated and burdensome regulations from nearly hundred years ago that were originally intended for the old landline telephone. Overregulating the Internet would stifle new investment and innovation, as well as slow down rollout of faster, better Internet service, like 5G technology, that consumers demand and is critical to economic growth in communities large and small."

"Instead of again rehashing the previous debate, Congress needs to look to the future and forge a new bipartisan solution," continued Conston, "so the Internet continues to drive economic growth and opportunity in today's digital marketplace."

The story so far

Following the introduction of net neutrality rules under former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, current chairman Ajit Pai suggested a rollback of the rules under a "Proposal to Restore Internet Freedom," which was voted on and and set in motion in December 2017. The vote, which stopped internet providers from being regulated like utilities and freeing them to block, throttle, and prioritize traffic, faced a vast amount of opposition from major Internet companies including Apple, members of Congress, and other critics.

The Wheeler-era rules classified internet service providers as "common carriers" under Title II of the Communications Act, which gave the FCC the legal authority to strictly regulate connections, such as by preventing the creation of so-called "fast lanes." Pai believed the use of Title II was "heavy-handed," and that the decades of development under a "light-touch regulatory approach" was good enough for consumers and the industry without needing extra regulations.

The vote prompted members of the U.S. Senate to try and overturn the FCC's decision, a resolution that quickly gained backing to bring it to the floor for voting. While it did succeed in pushing the expiry of net neutrality protections from the original end date of April 23, 2018 to June 11, as well as passing the resolution with a slim margin of 52 for to 47 against via a forced vote, the effort faced considerable opposition from the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, and failed to be picked up.

Even if the House of Representatives did pass the resolution, there would have been a high likelihood it could have been vetoed by President Donald Trump. The current White House administration has signaled its support for the removal of protections, making the veto almost certain to have taken place if it did proceed to that stage.

At the same time as the Senate's moves commenced, attorneys general of 22 states commenced their own lawsuit against the FCC, arguing the FCC violated procedure with its rollback vote. The attempt to prevent the loss of the rules via the courts effectively ended in November 2018, almost two years later, with the Supreme Court deciding not to hear an appeal on the case.

The decision was mostly symbolic, as by that time, the net neutrality regulations that were preserved by a lower court before the implementation of the new rules in June that lifted the internet provider restrictions.

In an effort to work around the FCC' decision to scrap the Title II elements and the lack of progress made by lawmakers to implement rules themselves, the state of California took steps to implement its own net neutrality regulations. In October, the Justice Department attempted to prevent the regulations from taking into effect, arguing internet providers "cannot realistically comply with one set of standards in this area for California and another for the rest of the nation."

Four cable and internet provider organizations also stepped into the fray, with the American Cable Association, CTIA, NCTA, and USTelecom all suing to stop the law from commencing on January 1, declaring it a "classic example of unconstitutional state regulation. California ultimately agreed to delay the enforcement of the net neutrality bill, until courts resolved pending litigation pertaining to the FCC rollback.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Why not bring it to the voters? Than deal with Washington’s B.S for the next 20 years...

    Congress was created almost 100 years before the invention of the telephone.  This isn’t then...

    Want some direction? Ask!
    GeorgeBMaccornchip
  • Reply 2 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,472member
    I have always been in favor of net neutrality -- enforced by government.   The idea of "government control of the internet is as ridiculous as government control of any utility.  The regulations are there to insure a fair shake for consumers and effective management of national infrastructure, nothing more, nothing less.   But, that was all "back in the day" of internet being delivered over coax, FiOS, and LTE.

    With the advent of 5G that could all change.   Not only does 5G have the capacity to replace most or all of today's conventional delivery methods, but 5G can be software targeted to deliver pinpoint accuracy for critical functions like remote surgery and self-driving or remotely driven vehicles -- and a ton more.

    I think this whole thing needs to be thought through as to how it will be used, how it fits into and supports critical U.S. infrastructure, and who says which resources get which resources?   For instance:   Do you trust Verizon to provide and decide how much you pay for remote surgery over their network?  What will stop them from price gouging based on willingness to pay -- the same as Big Pharma does for life saving critical medications?  Or say, your self driving car travels from the area covered by your Verizon network into AT&T's -- can AT&T then charge you a "roaming fee"?
    muthuk_vanalingamMacPro
  • Reply 3 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,472member
    Why not bring it to the voters? Than deal with Washington’s B.S for the next 20 years...

    Congress was created almost 100 years before the invention of the telephone.  This isn’t then...

    Want some direction? Ask!
    Because then how are our congressman going to get paid(off) by the big telecoms?   They got mortgages and car payments due bro...
    cornchipcurtis hannahbeowulfschmidtmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 34
    bvwjbvwj Posts: 8unconfirmed, member
    Too late, we are all already dead.
    SpamSandwichandrewj5790
  • Reply 5 of 34
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,108member
    Goddamn fascists. These idiots need to be forcefully repelled early and often.
    designr
  • Reply 6 of 34
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member
    I have always been in favor of net neutrality -- enforced by government.   The idea of "government control of the internet is as ridiculous as government control of any utility.  The regulations are there to insure a fair shake for consumers and effective management of national infrastructure, nothing more, nothing less.   But, that was all "back in the day" of internet being delivered over coax, FiOS, and LTE.

    With the advent of 5G that could all change.   Not only does 5G have the capacity to replace most or all of today's conventional delivery methods, but 5G can be software targeted to deliver pinpoint accuracy for critical functions like remote surgery and self-driving or remotely driven vehicles -- and a ton more.

    I think this whole thing needs to be thought through as to how it will be used, how it fits into and supports critical U.S. infrastructure, and who says which resources get which resources?   For instance:   Do you trust Verizon to provide and decide how much you pay for remote surgery over their network?  What will stop them from price gouging based on willingness to pay -- the same as Big Pharma does for life saving critical medications?  Or say, your self driving car travels from the area covered by your Verizon network into AT&T's -- can AT&T then charge you a "roaming fee"?
    If you look at the big picture, net neutrality hasn't done anything. I think the mandate by Obama in 2015 declaring internet a public utility made things worse. Net neutrality caused investment into broadband internet to decrease. With net neutrality, Title II regulations were imposed on ISP's. Under the regulations, all proposals had to be submitted to the FCC for approval. Look at how long it took the FCC to allow T-Mobile's Binge On service. Another huge problem in this country net neutrality doesn't address is the local monopolies all around the nation. All these restrictions city, county, and state governments have done has stymied competition. Almost every place I've lived in only had one option for high speed internet. Net neutrality also hasn't helped rural customers, who represent 20% of the U.S. population. I've seen quite a few local projects aimed at rural customers get the ax due to the bureaucracy of net neutrality regulations. Bottom line, I just think enforcing Great Depression era laws on the internet don't protect the consumer or help broadband growth. There is just too much misinformation out there where people continue to falsely believe net neutrality creates an open and free internet, which it doesn't. The hands off approach prior to the 2015 mandate is the way to go. 
    libertyandfreeSpamSandwichandrewj5790beowulfschmidtrandominternetpersonentropyssteven n.sdw2001christophb
  • Reply 7 of 34
    I have always been in favor of net neutrality -- enforced by government.   The idea of "government control of the internet is as ridiculous as government control of any utility.  The regulations are there to insure a fair shake for consumers and effective management of national infrastructure, nothing more, nothing less.   But, that was all "back in the day" of internet being delivered over coax, FiOS, and LTE.

    With the advent of 5G that could all change.   Not only does 5G have the capacity to replace most or all of today's conventional delivery methods, but 5G can be software targeted to deliver pinpoint accuracy for critical functions like remote surgery and self-driving or remotely driven vehicles -- and a ton more.

    I think this whole thing needs to be thought through as to how it will be used, how it fits into and supports critical U.S. infrastructure, and who says which resources get which resources?   For instance:   Do you trust Verizon to provide and decide how much you pay for remote surgery over their network?  What will stop them from price gouging based on willingness to pay -- the same as Big Pharma does for life saving critical medications?  Or say, your self driving car travels from the area covered by your Verizon network into AT&T's -- can AT&T then charge you a "roaming fee"?
    If you look at the big picture, net neutrality hasn't done anything. I think the mandate by Obama in 2015 declaring internet a public utility made things worse. Net neutrality caused investment into broadband internet to decrease. With net neutrality, Title II regulations were imposed on ISP's. Under the regulations, all proposals had to be submitted to the FCC for approval. Look at how long it took the FCC to allow T-Mobile's Binge On service. Another huge problem in this country net neutrality doesn't address is the local monopolies all around the nation. All these restrictions city, county, and state governments have done has stymied competition. Almost every place I've lived in only had one option for high speed internet. Net neutrality also hasn't helped rural customers, who represent 20% of the U.S. population. I've seen quite a few local projects aimed at rural customers get the ax due to the bureaucracy of net neutrality regulations. Bottom line, I just think enforcing Great Depression era laws on the internet don't protect the consumer or help broadband growth. There is just too much misinformation out there where people continue to falsely believe net neutrality creates an open and free internet, which it doesn't. The hands off approach prior to the 2015 mandate is the way to go. 
    Why would any reasonable person want the govt interfering any further into our communications infrastructure.  The old days of govt mandated AT&T monopoly were not good for the consumer (I lived through this. I recall when it was broken up I could make long distance calls for the low low price of $0.25/min it was about $1/min under the govt AT&T monopoly) and many people defended this horrendous policy as being best for the consumer, no unlike the ones defending Net Neutrality today.  

       The free market works and when it gets out of balance it will correct itself, it always does.  The fantastic internet we have today was created because we didn’t have policies like net neutrality (56kb modems to 200Mb in 20 years at roughly the same price that’s amazing and transformative). The people who are the marketplace not the govt knows what’s best so please stop supporting the asinine idea of net neutrality because you think someone may throttle your BW.  
    lkruppandrewj5790entropysdesignr
  • Reply 8 of 34
    There's no evidence whatsoever that abandoning net neutrality regulations has increased new investment or innovation. 
    gatorguybeowulfschmidtmuthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMacjony0
  • Reply 9 of 34
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,076member
    I don’t support this bill in any way but at least it’s being considered the proper way. Instead of a Presidential directive (Obama) to create it, followed by another Presidential directive (Trump) to remove it, the Congress is considering a bill to reinstate it and make it law. It may very well pass in the liberal Democrat controlled House but it’s doubtful it would make it through the Senate or a Trump veto. So to all you net neutrality supporters, don’t get your hopes up too high right now. This ain't gonna happen any time soon. 
    edited March 6 andrewj5790randominternetperson
  • Reply 10 of 34
    rosse59rosse59 Posts: 13member
    Yeah, since the repeal, the Internet has slowed completely, massive delays and stopped altogether far too frequently.  Oh, and my bills have skyrocketed. ....  .... Or, no they haven't.
    libertyandfreerandominternetpersonentropysSpamSandwichdesignrsteven n.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    There's no evidence whatsoever that abandoning net neutrality regulations has increased new investment or innovation. 
    Not according to the FCC chairman.  Moreover investment right now and for 5G will be gangbusters.  Why mess with something that’s not broken.  
    entropysdesignrsteven n.
  • Reply 12 of 34
    I miss the internet.  I hope Congress brings it back soon.
    SpamSandwichboltsfan17designrchristophbbvwj
  • Reply 13 of 34
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,706member
    Moar guvvermint is a dead hand on any rapidly evolving market.

    Edit: I would also also point out that “net neutrality” and “save the internet Bill” are grossly Orwellian.

    For those that could not be arsed looking at the detail below the title, who could be against something called that? The detail of what these types of laws actually do though are below the surface, where just about always, in fact you could call it a first Law of Crony Corporatism, such laws are designed to entrench the position of current players and make it harder for Competitors, new especially, but reduction in competition to help entrench margins is a key outcome of these kinds of Laws.

    Even better for the vested interests is if you can dress the Bill up to make it look like it will prevent the big guy from oppressing the little guy. Which amazingly, these kinds of Laws don’t ever actually achieve in practice.
    edited March 6 SpamSandwichchristophb
  • Reply 14 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,472member
    I have always been in favor of net neutrality -- enforced by government.   The idea of "government control of the internet is as ridiculous as government control of any utility.  The regulations are there to insure a fair shake for consumers and effective management of national infrastructure, nothing more, nothing less.   But, that was all "back in the day" of internet being delivered over coax, FiOS, and LTE.

    With the advent of 5G that could all change.   Not only does 5G have the capacity to replace most or all of today's conventional delivery methods, but 5G can be software targeted to deliver pinpoint accuracy for critical functions like remote surgery and self-driving or remotely driven vehicles -- and a ton more.

    I think this whole thing needs to be thought through as to how it will be used, how it fits into and supports critical U.S. infrastructure, and who says which resources get which resources?   For instance:   Do you trust Verizon to provide and decide how much you pay for remote surgery over their network?  What will stop them from price gouging based on willingness to pay -- the same as Big Pharma does for life saving critical medications?  Or say, your self driving car travels from the area covered by your Verizon network into AT&T's -- can AT&T then charge you a "roaming fee"?
    If you look at the big picture, net neutrality hasn't done anything. I think the mandate by Obama in 2015 declaring internet a public utility made things worse. Net neutrality caused investment into broadband internet to decrease. With net neutrality, Title II regulations were imposed on ISP's. Under the regulations, all proposals had to be submitted to the FCC for approval. Look at how long it took the FCC to allow T-Mobile's Binge On service. Another huge problem in this country net neutrality doesn't address is the local monopolies all around the nation. All these restrictions city, county, and state governments have done has stymied competition. Almost every place I've lived in only had one option for high speed internet. Net neutrality also hasn't helped rural customers, who represent 20% of the U.S. population. I've seen quite a few local projects aimed at rural customers get the ax due to the bureaucracy of net neutrality regulations. Bottom line, I just think enforcing Great Depression era laws on the internet don't protect the consumer or help broadband growth. There is just too much misinformation out there where people continue to falsely believe net neutrality creates an open and free internet, which it doesn't. The hands off approach prior to the 2015 mandate is the way to go. 
    Good summation of free market ideology.   But, I prefer reality thank you.
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 15 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,472member
    I have always been in favor of net neutrality -- enforced by government.   The idea of "government control of the internet is as ridiculous as government control of any utility.  The regulations are there to insure a fair shake for consumers and effective management of national infrastructure, nothing more, nothing less.   But, that was all "back in the day" of internet being delivered over coax, FiOS, and LTE.

    With the advent of 5G that could all change.   Not only does 5G have the capacity to replace most or all of today's conventional delivery methods, but 5G can be software targeted to deliver pinpoint accuracy for critical functions like remote surgery and self-driving or remotely driven vehicles -- and a ton more.

    I think this whole thing needs to be thought through as to how it will be used, how it fits into and supports critical U.S. infrastructure, and who says which resources get which resources?   For instance:   Do you trust Verizon to provide and decide how much you pay for remote surgery over their network?  What will stop them from price gouging based on willingness to pay -- the same as Big Pharma does for life saving critical medications?  Or say, your self driving car travels from the area covered by your Verizon network into AT&T's -- can AT&T then charge you a "roaming fee"?
    If you look at the big picture, net neutrality hasn't done anything. I think the mandate by Obama in 2015 declaring internet a public utility made things worse. Net neutrality caused investment into broadband internet to decrease. With net neutrality, Title II regulations were imposed on ISP's. Under the regulations, all proposals had to be submitted to the FCC for approval. Look at how long it took the FCC to allow T-Mobile's Binge On service. Another huge problem in this country net neutrality doesn't address is the local monopolies all around the nation. All these restrictions city, county, and state governments have done has stymied competition. Almost every place I've lived in only had one option for high speed internet. Net neutrality also hasn't helped rural customers, who represent 20% of the U.S. population. I've seen quite a few local projects aimed at rural customers get the ax due to the bureaucracy of net neutrality regulations. Bottom line, I just think enforcing Great Depression era laws on the internet don't protect the consumer or help broadband growth. There is just too much misinformation out there where people continue to falsely believe net neutrality creates an open and free internet, which it doesn't. The hands off approach prior to the 2015 mandate is the way to go. 
    Why would any reasonable person want the govt interfering any further into our communications infrastructure.  The old days of govt mandated AT&T monopoly were not good for the consumer (I lived through this. I recall when it was broken up I could make long distance calls for the low low price of $0.25/min it was about $1/min under the govt AT&T monopoly) and many people defended this horrendous policy as being best for the consumer, no unlike the ones defending Net Neutrality today.  

       The free market works and when it gets out of balance it will correct itself, it always does.  The fantastic internet we have today was created because we didn’t have policies like net neutrality (56kb modems to 200Mb in 20 years at roughly the same price that’s amazing and transformative). The people who are the marketplace not the govt knows what’s best so please stop supporting the asinine idea of net neutrality because you think someone may throttle your BW.  
    LOL... "Net Neutrality" was simply a set of rules saying that Verizon and other providers couldn't decide what you see and whether you paid more than your neighbor for seeing it.   But, the free marketers trust Verizon to make their decisions for them.   So silly.   So sad.

    Sorry, but I'll trust my government before I'll trust Verizon or Concast
    edited March 6 n2itivguyMacProjony0
  • Reply 16 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,472member
    rosse59 said:
    Yeah, since the repeal, the Internet has slowed completely, massive delays and stopped altogether far too frequently.  Oh, and my bills have skyrocketed. ....  .... Or, no they haven't.
    Not yet.   They're consolidating.   Deciding what you will see based on how much they can get out of the site.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,472member
    There's no evidence whatsoever that abandoning net neutrality regulations has increased new investment or innovation. 
    Not according to the FCC chairman.  Moreover investment right now and for 5G will be gangbusters.  Why mess with something that’s not broken.  
    FCC Chaiman = Industry shill put in place by Trump to impose the industry's will on the American people.   Sad.
    MacProjony0
  • Reply 18 of 34
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,116member
    There's no evidence whatsoever that abandoning net neutrality regulations has increased new investment or innovation. 
    On the flip side (something that is much more important), there is 0 evidence the Title II take over of the Internet by the government (called "Net Neutrality" to lure in the flies) did anything to lower costs, increase investment or speed innovation.

    All I know, since the appeal of the government takeover, my upload speeds have gone from 5Mb/sec to 40Mb/sec, my download speeds have gone from 40Mb to 80Mb/sec and my price has gone from $60/month to $40/month.  All with the same company.
    christophbSpamSandwich
  • Reply 19 of 34
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,035member
    I have always been in favor of net neutrality -- enforced by government.   The idea of "government control of the internet is as ridiculous as government control of any utility.  The regulations are there to insure a fair shake for consumers and effective management of national infrastructure, nothing more, nothing less.   But, that was all "back in the day" of internet being delivered over coax, FiOS, and LTE.

    With the advent of 5G that could all change.   Not only does 5G have the capacity to replace most or all of today's conventional delivery methods, but 5G can be software targeted to deliver pinpoint accuracy for critical functions like remote surgery and self-driving or remotely driven vehicles -- and a ton more.

    I think this whole thing needs to be thought through as to how it will be used, how it fits into and supports critical U.S. infrastructure, and who says which resources get which resources?   For instance:   Do you trust Verizon to provide and decide how much you pay for remote surgery over their network?  What will stop them from price gouging based on willingness to pay -- the same as Big Pharma does for life saving critical medications?  Or say, your self driving car travels from the area covered by your Verizon network into AT&T's -- can AT&T then charge you a "roaming fee"?
    If you look at the big picture, net neutrality hasn't done anything. I think the mandate by Obama in 2015 declaring internet a public utility made things worse. Net neutrality caused investment into broadband internet to decrease. With net neutrality, Title II regulations were imposed on ISP's. Under the regulations, all proposals had to be submitted to the FCC for approval. Look at how long it took the FCC to allow T-Mobile's Binge On service. Another huge problem in this country net neutrality doesn't address is the local monopolies all around the nation. All these restrictions city, county, and state governments have done has stymied competition. Almost every place I've lived in only had one option for high speed internet. Net neutrality also hasn't helped rural customers, who represent 20% of the U.S. population. I've seen quite a few local projects aimed at rural customers get the ax due to the bureaucracy of net neutrality regulations. Bottom line, I just think enforcing Great Depression era laws on the internet don't protect the consumer or help broadband growth. There is just too much misinformation out there where people continue to falsely believe net neutrality creates an open and free internet, which it doesn't. The hands off approach prior to the 2015 mandate is the way to go. 
    Good summation of free market ideology.   But, I prefer reality thank you.
    In reality, scarce commodities can
    only be distributed on two ways:  Market pricing or rationing.  Which one do you think NN was closest to?
    christophb
  • Reply 20 of 34
    toltol Posts: 8member
    The repeal of net neutrality two years ago was supposed to kill the internet. But as I type it appears alive. What needs saving exactly?  Who will we be protected from?  It is interesting that people think companies should build the internet for billions and billions of dollars and not profit from their risk.  Should we save search from google?  Or save social media from facebook?  Perhaps save the iPhone from Apple?
    christophb
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