Democrats Make Net Neutrality Push For FCC To Oversee The Internet As A Utility
July 15, 2014 at 5:56 AM (PT)
According to the NATIONAL JOURNAL, a number of liberal lawmakers want to apply utility-style regulations to Internet service providers.
Sen. EDWARD MARKEY (D-MA) has collected signatures for a letter urging the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION to regulate the Internet like the telephone system, making it as Title II Utility.
DEMOCRATIC Senators CHUCK SCHUMER (NY) AL FRANKEN (MN), and Indie Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (VT) have signed on. A press conference with Internet advocacy groups is set for TODAY.
In the letter, the senators argue that stronger authority is necessary to enact net-neutrality rules that prevent broadband providers such as COMCAST from manipulating traffic to favor giant corporations.
Quoting the letter, "Broadband is a more advanced technology than phone service, but in the 21st century, it performs the same essential function.
"Consumers and businesses cannot live without this vital connection to each other and to the world around them. Accordingly, it would be appropriate for the FCC to reclassify broadband to reflect the vital role the Internet plays in carrying our most important information and our greatest ideas."
The FCC currently regulates broadband Internet as an "information service" under Title I of the COMMUNICATIONS ACT. Reclassifying broadband as a "telecommunications service" under Title II of the law would immediately give the FCC sweeping new powers.
A recent proposal from FCC Chairman TOM WHEELER generated a huge public backlash as it would allow Internet providers to charge websites for special "fast lanes" as long as the agreements are "commercially reasonable."