Draft net neutrality legislation emasculates FCC

Proposed Congressional legislation would emasculate the FCC's ability to make rules about net neutrality according to a draft of a bill obtained by FierceCable. The untitled legislation adds a section, "Internet Openness" to the Communications Act of 1934 and pretty much gives Congress, not the FCC, the authority to oversee the Internet.

"The Commission may not impose regulations on broadband Internet access services or any component thereof under Title II of the Communications Act, except in the event that a provider of broadband Internet access service elects to provide the transmission component of such service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act," the bill states, somewhat confusingly, since no broadband Internet service provider would voluntarily offer such service under Title II.

The bill also provides wiggle room for "reasonable network management .... That is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management function." This network management includes "appropriate and tailored practices to reduce or mitigate the effects of congestion on a broadband Internet access provider's network."

The bill throws a bone to the FCC by concluding that the Commission "shall determine the treatment of fixed wireless and satellite services for the purpose of this section." Whatever that means.

For more:
- see the proposed text here

Related articles:
FCC still considering reclassification for net neutrality
FCC lays out net neutrality course

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