Net neutrality bill stalled due to Republican opposition

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 30 September 2010, 02:46 Hrs   |    1 Comments
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Washington: Bill on net neutrality has been delayed after the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce committee Henry Waxman was unsuccessful in securing the support of the committee's top Republican, reports Chloe Albanesius

Net neutrality refers to the theory that high-speed Internet providers should not be allowed to give preferential treatment to content providers that pay for faster transmission.

"This legislative initiative was predicated on going forward only if we had full bipartisan support in our committee," said Chairman Henry Waxman. "We included the Republican staff in our deliberations and made clear that we were prepared to introduce our compromise legislation if we received the backing of Ranking Member Barton and Ranking Member Stearns."

The legislation presented by Waxman and his fellow Democrat Rick Boucher of Virginia had four main components. They are to restore the FCC's power to regulate the Internet; prevent ISPs from engaging in unreasonable network management; prevent wireless broadband providers from blocking Web sites; and require the FCC to issue transparency regulations so consumers know exactly what they're getting from providers.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took up the controversial issue over the summer but was unable to reach a consensus with phone, cable and Internet companies.

If the bill was to be passed, it would have prevented broadband providers from blocking legal websites, but fell short of holding mobile providers to more stringent net neutrality standards. While wired broadband providers would be prohibited from discriminating against certain content, such as lawful online videos and other bandwidth-hogging files, mobile providers would not be subject to this standard.

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