Democrats push bills in House, Senate to restore net neutrality

Feb. 4, 2014 at 4:53 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and the House have introduced legislation to restore net neutrality rules at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

The identical bills were offered about three weeks after a federal appeals court struck down rules, passed by the FCC in late 2010, prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic.

Dubbed the Open Internet Preservation Act, the bills would restore the FCC's rules on a neutral, or open, Internet.

The rules would remain in effect until the FCC takes further action on net neutrality; the federal appeals court had left the way open for the commission to use its authority to pass new, rewritten rules, PC World reported Tuesday.

Among the bills' Democratic co-sponsors in the House are Reps. Henry Waxman, Anna Eshoo, Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui of California, and in the Senate, Sens. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Al Franken of Minnesota and Ron Wyden of Oregon, PC Word said.

"The Internet is an engine of economic growth because it has always been an open platform for competition and innovation," Waxman, the senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement. "Our bill very simply ensures that consumers can continue to access the content and applications of their choosing online."

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