Telecoms Get Their Money’s Worth From Senators Who Want to Roll Back the ‘Net Neutrality’ Rule
Anyone who uses the Internet to watch movies or do research could see their service slow down or be blocked if a bill sponsored by nine Republican senators becomes law.
S.993, the so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Act”, would undo landmark 2015 rules from the Federal Communications Commission, the body that sets rules for the Internet. Under former President Barack Obama, the FCC approved “net neutrality rules” that prevent providers such as Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing traffic.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who received about $70,000 in campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry from 2011-2016, and eight other senators want to undo this.
Lee said the FCC order “put federal bureaucrats in charge of engineering the Internet’s infrastructure.”
Lee and the other senators would roll back the Obama administration’s decision to regulate broadband service as a utility. The Obama administration saw access to the Internet as service like electricity or the telephone that all Americans should have, not a luxury for the well-heeled.
People who watch movies on Netflix or Hulu could see their service blocked or slowed by Internet providers if Lee’s bill becomes law. Netflix and Hulu might be able to pay higher fees to Internet providers to keep better service. Smaller, start-up companies could be shut out of business.
A federal appeals court recently upheld the net neutrality rules. AT&T has said it plans to appeal.