U.S. House rejects FCC’s ‘open’ Internet rules

By Reuters
Posted April 8 at 5:44 p.m.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to reject Internet “neutrality” rules that were adopted last year to keep big Internet service providers from blocking certain traffic.

House Republicans, in a 240-179 vote, pushed through a measure disapproving the Federal Communications Commission’s rules. Tech and telecom giants such as Verizon Communications Inc and Microsoft Corp could be affected.

The outlook for further progress by the Republicans in rolling back the FCC’s actions was uncertain, however.

While a similar measure has been offered in the U.S. Senate and has 39 co-sponsors, the White House said on Monday that President Barack Obama’s advisers would recommend that he veto any such resolution.

The FCC’s rules, approved in late December, banned Internet service providers from blocking traffic on their networks, while allowing providers — such as Verizon, Comcast Corp and AT&T Inc — to “reasonably” manage their networks and charge consumers based on usage.

Republicans argued in House debate that the FCC’s rules needlessly impose government regulation on the Internet.

“The FCC has never had the authority to regulate the Internet,” said Republican Representative Cliff Stearns.

House Republican Leader Eric Cantor called the House’s vote “an important step to bring down the FCC’s harmful and partisan plan to regulate the Internet.”

Democrats argue that the FCC rules are needed to curb the growing market power of large service providers.

Disapproving the FCC rules “would give big phone and cable companies control over what websites Americans can visit, what applications they can run, and what devices they can use,” said Democratic Representative Henry Waxman.

Democratic Representative Anna Eshoo called the Republican push against the FCC’s rules “an ideological assault on a federal agency and its ability to provide basic consumer protections.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Monday dismissed challenges to the FCC rules that had been filed by Verizon and MetroPCS Communications Inc, ruling that the challenges were premature.

“In most parts of the country, companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast have a virtual monopoly over access to the Internet,” Waxman said. “Without regulation, they can choke off innovation by charging for the right to communicate with their customers.”

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  1. Mike April 8 at 6:35 pm

    I hate the republican party from the bottom of my heart.

  2. kate April 8 at 6:38 pm

    I hate the republican party too. And, the republican party has proven over and over again that it hates the American people as well. This is pandering to corporations and allowing them to censor the information that flows over the internet. They are out for total mind control and total control of the media and information that flows into this country. They are communists.

  3. GlenW April 8 at 6:49 pm

    Are the Republicants too stupid to see what will happen if the internet is not regulated? Well, I guess we know who is bank rolling them, don’t we?

  4. Someone Else April 8 at 6:57 pm

    Like Mike, I too, hate the Republican party from the heart of my bottom!

  5. Tony April 8 at 7:06 pm

    I also hate the Republican Party. I also hate the Democratic Party. Each side has their own special interests they cater to and the every day folks get screwed. Neither party cares because there is no reason to..special interests, lobbyists, etc.

  6. notTHATstupid April 8 at 7:13 pm

    The first four comments have been brought to you by adjacent cubicles.

  7. Ludwig Von Mises April 8 at 7:13 pm

    The usual terminology of political language is stupid. What is ‘left’ and what is ‘right’? Who is ‘reactionary’ and who is ‘progressive’? Reaction against an unwise policy is not to be condemned. And progress towards chaos is not to be commended. Nothing should find acceptance just because it is new, radical, and fashionable. ‘Orthodoxy’ is not an evil if the doctrine on which the ‘orthodox’ stand is sound. Who is anti-labor, those who want to lower labor to the Chinese level, or those who want for labor the capitalistic standard of the United States?

  8. rrumaner April 8 at 7:31 pm

    I also hate the Replicants from the bottom of my heart and I am not in a cubical adjacent to anyone.

  9. rrumaner April 8 at 7:33 pm

    That was supposed to be Republicans – damn auto correcting spell checker

  10. RegularGuy April 8 at 7:41 pm

    Thank you, Ludwig, for pointing out what should be obvious. Bad ideas are not unique to one political party, or to any one political ideology.

    Leaving the corporate giants to control the Internet is a bad idea. It won’t be long before we find out just how bad an idea. At that point, Congress will finally respond to public pressure and hold hearings, followed by corporate lobbying, followed by some watered-down half-solution.

  11. notTHATstupid April 8 at 7:47 pm

    @7:33….Not to mention cubicle.

  12. J in KC April 8 at 9:40 pm

    As long as you “tolerant” liberals are hating people, I will point out my utter contempt for people of your ilk and my sincere wishes that you all drop dead and go to the devil.

    That said, if Waxman is for this, I’m against it.

  13. Steve Lobber April 8 at 9:42 pm

    I guess the loons got their marching orders! They do spew hate!

  14. Steve Lobber April 8 at 9:44 pm

    And, I don’t believe all those similar posts about hate are from people working beside each other in cubicles. Obviously, if they are haters, they must be moochers off the teats of the taxpayers!

  15. Boca Joe April 8 at 9:59 pm

    No cubical here either. I call them Repugnicans and really hate them, maybe even more than the rest of you!

  16. Boca Joe April 8 at 10:02 pm

    Haters, Stevie? Like you don’t hate Obama and believe he was born on a moon of Jupiter? Give me a break.

  17. Gil April 8 at 10:29 pm

    Of course the Republicans are against net neutrality, THEY own the ISP’s. Typical politics, nothing new to see here.

  18. Lee Farmington farmington NM April 9 at 10:18 a.m.

    Gil: I think it’s the other way around the ISP s own them Break up a monopoly only to see it re form

  19. DB April 10 at 12:22 a.m.

    ((I hate the republican party from the bottom of my heart.))

    I thought we weren’t supposed to hate people. You liberals ALWAYS spew about we should do this, not that, whatever, but then you do THE EXACT THING YOU PREACH AGAINST. YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!

  20. Dan April 10 at 3:51 pm

    The consumers will be the ones to decide. If you hate large corporations do not use there product. I do not want liberal politicians having control.

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