At today’s House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Communications & Technology Subcommittee hearing on protecting the Open Internet, Republican members announced they have introduced or will introduce several pieces of legislation aimed at prohibiting anti-competitive and harmful broadband-provider practices. While we await the introduced language on some of these bills, the content and context shared to date signals that they will fall far short of ensuring the Federal Communications Commission has the necessary oversight authority over broadband providers to protect consumers, promote competition, and close the digital divide.
Today, Public Knowledge, as part of a broad coalition of petitioners, presented oral arguments demanding repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s December 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Public Knowledge filed as a petitioner.
In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Ajit Pai voted to repeal net neutrality rules enacted two years earlier. While 83 percent of Americans support net neutrality and opposed the reversal, broadband providers unsurprisingly supported it. Many said they would not use the repeal as an opportunity to discriminate among internet content -- but now there are no rules stopping them from doing exactly that.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear a challenge to the D.C. Circuit's 2016 decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. The Supreme Court also declined to vacate the D.C. Circuit's decision as moot.
Yesterday, the California State Assembly passed SB 822, a comprehensive Open Internet bill that will grant California residents the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation if it becomes law. The bipartisan bill passed 61-18 and will now return to the Senate before being sent to Governor Jerry Brown to sign or veto. Public Knowledge welcomes the bill and applauds California’s net neutrality activists for urging their state lawmakers to protect consumers over broadband providers.