Net Neutrality is one of the issues we will consider this semester. Here’s some background on current developments.
The White House has threatened to veto Republican-sponsored legislation that would overturn the net neutrality rules the FCC passed last December.
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on S.J. Resolution 6 [PDF], “Disapproval of Federal Communications Commission Rule Regulating the Internet and Broadband Industry Practices”, sometime on Thursday. The resolution, if it were to pass both houses, would begin a process that could overturn the decision of the FCC. The U.S. House of Representatives rejected the FCC’s net neutrality rules back in April.
“Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation’s economic recovery,” the White House said in its veto threat. “It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world.”
The FCC rules prevent broadband providers from blocking access to specific websites and applications. However, the rules are less clear when it comes to wireless providers. Supporters, such as Obama and the White House, believe that some regulations are necessary to stop ISPs such as Comcast from throttling or blocking content. Opponents, such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), one of the sponsors of the bill, argue that the net neutrality regulations would over-regulate the Internet, stifle the economy and set a bad precedent.
What’s your view?