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Net neutrality bill may be dead for this session, sources say

correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the FCC was planning to vote on net neutrality in its Nov. 30 meeting. The FCC has not announced its agenda for its Nov. 30 meeting.

A House Democratic push to create a net neutrality bill won't get the Republican support it needs to be introduced this legislative session, according to sources familiar with the effort. That places the issue back at the Federal Communications Commission, where its chairman has proposed to re-assert its questionable regulatory authority over broadband providers to carry out his support of new net neutrality rules.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and his staff have worked feverishly over the past week to craft legislation that would enable to Federal Communications Commission to enforce so-called net neutral guidelines on how Internet service providers provide access to content on their networks. But on Wednesday, key Republicans such as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Oh) said he wouldn't support the bill that many in his party (and some Democrats) would strap broadband providers with burdensome rules, according to sources.

Waxman had been in talks with Internet service providers, a coalition representing Web content companies such as Google and Skype, and public interest groups. The effort was an attempt to create rules for Internet service providers as the FCC struggles with its regulatory authority over broadband service providers. The bill would prevent the agency from re-asserting its authority over broadband providers, which FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed.

But on Wednesday, sources close to the talks on the Hill said Waxman didn't get the Republican support needed to co-sponsor the bill and help it get through Congress. Even if the talks were successful, it would be difficult to get a bill passed in what is considered a lame duck session after the November midterm elections. Waxman had pushed to introduce a bill during the current session, with the expectation that the elections will change the makeup of the House.

Where does that leave net neutrality? Back at the FCC, which has effectively pushed off until the end of November a decision on its proposal for open access rules. That proposal, introduced in a speech September 2009, hasn't been up for vote and the agency hasn't signaled when it will move forward on the plan. At the earliest, a proposal for net neutrality rules can be addressed at its Nov. 30 meeting.

By Cecilia Kang  | September 29, 2010; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  FCC, Net Neutrality  
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Next: Waxman says net neutrality bill dead, FCC should assert regulatory authority

Comments

The GnOPers are still doing everything they can to undermine fair treatment for all Americans. Send a clear message this November. Just say 'get lost' to the party of NO!

Posted by: right_as_rain | September 29, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

party of no brains.

Posted by: Nymous | September 30, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter that the internet was developed by the taxpayer, the rights-of-way were secured by eminent domain and paid for by ratepayers over decades. Big corporate entities want our property and Congress, especially the GOP, are going to see that they get it with no "burdensome rules" to prevent this taking of our resources. Net neutrality is on its way to becoming Orwellian doublespeak, whereby all are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Posted by: BuddyK | September 30, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

6 AM grammatical errors:

It doesn't matter that the internet was developed by the taxpayer, the rights-of-way were secured by eminent domain and paid for by ratepayers over decades. Big corporate entities want our property and Congress, especially the GOP, IS going to see that they get it with no "burdensome rules" to prevent this taking of our resources. Net neutrality is on its way to becoming Orwellian doublespeak, whereby all are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Posted by: BuddyK | September 30, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Get ready to have less access to content and pay more for that less access to content. Always remember the broadband providers are out to make bigger and bigger profits and that means more control from them and higher rates. Tiered access is coming folks and the bills for everyone is going to go way up... Get your wallet ready...

Posted by: Concerned5 | September 30, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

concerned5 wrote>>>Get ready to have less access to content and pay more for that less access to content

Well, definitely - if Congress is controlled by Republicans who consistently concoct bills MORE favorable to their corporate donors than the people.

Posted by: angie12106 | September 30, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the Senate Judiciary Committee
Sept. 28, 2010

Today, 87 prominent Internet engineers sent a joint letter the US Senate Judiciary Committee, declaring their opposition to the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA). The text of the letter is below.

Readers are encouraged to themselves write the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to reject this bill.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/09/open-letter


Posted by: angie12106 | September 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Blaming the Republicans is an easy out for the Dems.

Its funny, they were able to report Healthcare Reform out of committee (and ultimately enact it) without Republican support, but now all of a sudden it's the Republicans blocking the way?

I call BS . . .

Posted by: fgoodwin | September 30, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Blaming the Republicans is an easy out for the Dems.

Its funny, they were able to report Healthcare Reform out of committee (and ultimately enact it) without Republican support, but now all of a sudden it's the Republicans blocking the way?

I call BS . . .

Posted by: fgoodwin | September 30, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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