House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Blackburn Introduces Net Neutrality Legislation

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House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced network neutrality legislation, the Open Internet Preservation Act, that prohibits internet providers from blocking and throttling content, but does not address whether Internet service providers can create so-called “fast lanes” of traffic for sites willing to pay for it. The legislation also would require that ISPs disclose their terms of service, and ensure that federal law preempts any state efforts to establish rules of the road for internet traffic. The bill directs the FCC to enforce the legislation by setting up an inbox for net neutrality complaints and adjudicating them .“A lot of our innovators are saying, ‘Let’s go with things we have agreement on, and other things can be addressed later,'” Chairman Blackburn said. She said that she was “very hopeful” about the prospects for the legislation because “an open internet and preserving that open internet is what people want to see happen. Let’s preserve it. Let’s nail it down. Let’s stop the ping-ponging from one FCC commission to another. This is something where the Congress should act.” 

Chairman Blackburn's bill could create room for new legislative talks — particularly around how far, if at all, paid prioritization should be allowed to go. "I don't expect [Democrats] are going to endorse Blackburn's bill, but that's never how this has worked," said Berin Szoka, president of the think tank TechFreedom. "The point is to get both sides talking."

House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Blackburn Introduces Net Neutrality Legislation (Variety) Days after the FCC repealed its net neutrality rules, the GOP has a bill to replace them (Washington Post) House Republican offers net neutrality replacement bill (The Hill) Blackburn Introduces Open Internet Preservation Act (Broadcasting&Cable)