THE BIG BUSINESS FRIENDLY US Republican party is looking to block net neutrality rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC rules will prevent big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon from blocking traffic or access to certain websites and applications. The fear was that they would try to block competing Internet services in favour of their own or those of customers that kick back payments to them. The proposed rules give them some freedom in managing their systems, as long as they disclose what they do.
Net neutrality has the support of big companies like Google and Skype. They believe that Internet freedom is vital for innovation, and that phone and cable monopolies will create an unequal tiered system if left unchecked.
ISPs have already tried to launch legal challenges against the rulings, claiming that the FCC overstepped its authority. But now the corporations have gotten politicians involved, showing how much power they wield in the US Congress.
Republican leaders managed to pass an amendment to a spending bill that would stop the FCC from using government money to enforce the net neutrality regulations.
But for the measure to become law, it has to also pass the Senate. The Democratic party holds the majority here, and they've made it clear that they won't take up the proposed legislation. This could be a fight that the Republicans are unlikely to win. µ
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