Several Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced legislation today aimed at the so-called internet fast lanes. The bill called the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ban fast lanes.
Net neutrality has been a controversial topic for months. Basically, ISPs want companies to pay to get access to faster internet. Netflix has already forked over money to get better connections to several ISPs.
This bill would do away with ISPs charging for faster internet and put everyone back on a level playing field. How could a Netflix competitor form if Netflix was paying for faster connection speeds and the newcomer has to deal with buffering and other issues? That is just one of the arguments people make against the ISPs.
The FCC has been reviewing and accepting comments on a set of net neutrality rules. A viral segment from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver inundated the FCC site with more than 120,000 comments. The segment is a hilarious take on net neutrality and is a must watch. Check it out below.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy had this to say in a statement today.
“Americans are speaking loud and clear—they want an Internet that is a platform for free expression and innovation, where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider.”
Democratic Representative Doris Matsui said the bill is needed to help encourage innovation and competition on the internet.
“Our country cannot afford ‘pay-for-play’ schemes that divide our Internet into tiers based on who has the deepest pockets,” she added in a statement. “This is essential to the growth of our economy, and the health of our democracy.”
Now the big question. Can it pass? Everyone knows DC is broken as Democrats and Republicans race to their respective corners on every issue. I doubt this will be any different. You think Republicans will be for more oversight. Yeah, not happening.
At least today’s news brings net neutrality deep into the public spotlight. Make your thoughts known here and hopefully everyone can put enough pressure on the FCC to make the common sense decision for a change.