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Senators trying to block net neutrality (again)

If you thought the debate over net neutrality was put to rest last year, think again. The politicians just can’t seem to help themselves. The Republicans in Senate have launched yet another attack on net neutrality, this time in the form of a new bill.

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A new bill to end net neutrality

If you thought the debate over net neutrality was put to rest last year, think again. Republicans just can’t seem to help themselves. They’ve launched yet another attack on net neutrality, this time in the form of a new Senate bill.

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Net neutrality is the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible. Similar to how all Americans have the right to travel anywhere in the U.S. without a passport. Keeping the internet open to everyone seems like a no-brainer, right? Apparently not.

Blocking the move to protect the little guy

Big business and politicians have been doing all they can to prevent net neutrality. The debate came to a head last year when federal regulators voted to approve the most sweeping overhaul of US internet policy in two decades. With the new ruling, broadband internet access would be reclassified and subject to new rules under Title II. In addition, new FCC rules would prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. Commercial contracts, such as paid prioritization deals, occur when ISPs strike a deal with deep-pocketed companies to get preferential treatment, potentially snuffing out startups. Startups like Google, Twitter and Facebook might never have flourished without open access.

Big business ain’t happy

While the ruling was a landmark victory for consumers, plenty of businesses and politicians don’t care for it. Last week, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, along with seven co-sponsors, introduced the Restoring Internet Freedom Act. The new bill seeks to explicitly reverse the FCC’s ruling and effectively prohibit the FCC from enforcing internet protections.

The legislation states that the FCC’s order protecting net neutrality “shall have no force or effect, and the Commission may not reissue such rule in substantially the same form or issue a new rule that is substantially the same as such rule, unless the reissued or new rule is specifically authorized by a law.”

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Aversion to any regulation

At the heart of Republican opposition to net neutrality is an ideological aversion to government regulation. Rooted within the “conservative movement” is a deep-seeded anti-Washington, anti-Obama belief system that feeds this ideology. It should also come as no surprise that many of the GOP lawmakers who oppose net neutrality receive substantial monetary campaign contributions from the broadband industry, which also vehemently opposes the FCC policy.

#NetNeutrality

Written By

Nichole earned a Master's in Sociology from Texas State University and has publications in peer-reviewed journals. She has spent her career in tech and advertising. Her writing interests include the intersection of tech and society. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Communication and Media Studies at Murdoch University.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Gabe Sanders

    March 12, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    As long as big business spends the big bucks to elect the politicians, we aren’t going to have any protection for the little guy.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 16, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      I think a lot of people feel that way, Gabe.

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