Democrats seek to reinstate net neutrality with Open Internet Preservation Act

February 3
11:51 PM 2014

The Open Internet Preservation Act was introduced by the Democrats in both the House and Senate today, TechCrunch reported. The bill would resurrect the net neutrality rules that have been struck out last month.

The core idea of net neutrality is that all ISPs must give the same treatment to all Internet data. They are not permitted to choose the speed by which the information asked of by the customers is delivered because of selective gatekeeping of the affected services. In simpler terms, Comcast does not have the option to load a site or video slowly and quickly load the content it prefers customers to see, the report said.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals, however, struck out the net neutrality rule of FCC and altered the Internet landscape, the report said.

Supporters of net neutrality look at the scheme as integral to a free and level playing field. However, those against it said it was government regulation of the Internet which has been working quite well, the report said.

TechCrunch reported that the Preservation Act simply puts back what the decision of the court left out. However, the report cited the National Journal which said that the act does not stand a chance of becoming law since "Republicans are almost entirely united in opposition to the Internet rules, meaning the bill is unlikely to ever receive a vote in the GOP-controlled House."

The report also cited the view of The American Enterprise Institute which called the move "counter-productive." The AIE said that "insisting on stagnation in the essential infrastructure of the Internet is no way to promote innovation and the public interest."

However, the sponsors of the bill say that the Open Internet Preservation Act hinges on consumer protection and choice. The report quoted Representative Waxman who said. "The Internet is an engine of economic growth because it has always been an open platform for competition and innovation. Our bill very simply ensures that consumers can continue to access the content and applications of their choosing online."

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