Congressional Democrats are preparing to resume their fight to restore net neutrality, according to a new report from Washington Post on Monday. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are expected to introduce a new bill codifying Obama-era internet rules in the coming weeks.
The Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act – led by longtime Senate Internet advocates Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) – would reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service under Title II. It would give the Federal Communications Commission new enforcement powers on the Internet, including the power to set rules against throttling, blocking or payment prioritization.
“It is clearer than ever that broadband Internet is an essential utility,” a marque spokesman told ledge on Monday. “Senator Markey strongly believes that the authority of the Federal Communications Commission should reflect that, so it is better to serve the public by restoring net neutrality rules, protecting consumers and taking other important steps to create a digital future. able to fulfill its obligations.”
Markey’s office declined to comment on the senator’s specific plans for the bill.
A familiar source said MPs are likely to introduce the bill in August. ledge on Monday. The source said the measure would restore the FCC’s authority over broadband and allow the agency to investigate consumer complaints and enforce new rules to boost broadband competition and close the digital divide.
In 2017, the Trump FCC, led by former Chairman Ajit Pai, withdrew net neutrality provisions imposed under prior administrations. The rules prohibited broadband providers from throttling and blocking certain lanes of traffic and offering paid fast lanes for specific services. Since Trump’s reversal, congressional Democrats have vowed to permanently codify net neutrality.
Last summer, President Joe Biden signed a broad executive order boosting competition in a variety of industries, including telecommunications. Notably, the order called for the FCC to restore net neutrality, but the agency has yet to act on that request. Since Biden took office last year, the FCC has been at a standstill at 2-2. Biden’s nominee Gigi Sohn has been barred in the Senate for securing a Democratic majority to approve net neutrality.
Without an FCC Democratic majority, Markey’s net neutrality bill could be the Biden administration’s only means of restoring open internet rules. in June, politician reported that Senate Democrats garnered enough votes to push Sohn out with his razor-thin majority, but the vote never happened. Shortly before the vote was due, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) fell and broke his hip, requiring surgery, rendering him unable to cast his required vote.