Pelosi Says House Bill to Repeal ‘Open Internet’ Rule Will Stall in Senate

“I don’t think this bill is going anyplace.”
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The top Democrat in the House of Representatives says the House bill seeking to repeal the controversial “Open Internet” rules—better known as “net neutrality”—will not proceed any further when it goes to the Senate.

The Republican controlled House voted to repeal that regulation on April 8, 2011, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, despite the House vote the resolution is not likely to find backers in the Senate which is under control of the Democrats, according to the National Journal. “I don’t think this bill is going anyplace,” she said during a speech at Free Press’s National Conference for Media Reform in Boston, which was also on April 8.

The proposed legislation is title “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission with respect to regulating the Internet and broadband industry practices (H.J.Res. 37).” It says, “That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to the matter of preserving the open Internet and broadband industry practices (Report and Order FCC 10-201), and such rule shall have no force or effect.”

On Dec. 21, 2010, the Open Internet rules were approved by the FCC in 3-2 split vote by the agency’s commissioners. The regulation requires Internet providers to ensure “transparency” regarding the “network management practices, performance and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services.” Providers are also required to “not block lawful content,” and “applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephone services,” and “shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.”

Just five days before the House vote, on April 4, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit (Case No. 11-1014) filed by Verizon Communications Inc, a global broadband and telecommunications company and MetroPCS, a mobile phone service provider, seeking to prevent the FCC from imposing the “Open Internet” rules on the wireless sector. The court said the dismissal was based on the fact that the FCC has not yet published the Open Internet rules in the Federal Register. In addition, according to federal procedure, the rule cannot be published on the Federal Register until the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act are met.


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