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House Net Neutrality Legislation Takeaways

House Democrats have proposed a resolution to Net Neutrality that strongly signals to the FCC majority to not pursue its considered Title II reclassification of broadband as a 1934 regulated telephone service. The House Democrats' draft is here. The implications of this House draft are broad, important and constructive.

First, this House Democrat draft signals to the FCC Democrat majority loud and clear that House Democrats do not support the radical FreePress-driven proposal to regulate broadband Internet networks as 1934 common carrier telephone networks.

Second, it proves that the FreePress-driven proposal to takeover the Internet and regulate it as a public utility is extreme, way out of the political mainstream, and a non-starter.

Third, this legislation proposes a sensible resolution and workable alternative to this destructive polarizing issue that is serving no one who seeks an open Internet that works, grows and innovates without anti-competitive concerns, but only the revolutionary interests of FreePress and its allies that claim they want net neutrality, but really seek a utopian "information commons revolution."

Fourth, this proposed legislation would provide the FCC Chairman with all the basic elements that he has claimed are necessary to preserve an open Internet: FCC enforcement authority to address "unjust and unreasonable discrimination;" codifying the net neutrality enforcement principles into law; and adding non-discrimination and transparency obligations.

Fifth, it shows there could be solid consensus around a reasonable approach of preventing potential bad acts with narrow targeted enforcement authority, but clearly limits the FCC from regulating the Internet in any way to address unproven problems.

Sixth and interestingly, it appears to more broadly redefine the term "broadband provider" in a technology-neutral way which would ensure that any provider, whether it be a traditional telecom, cable or wireless broadband provider, or future broadband providers like Google, Skype, and others which may use white spaces or other means -- must also abide by net neutrality principles.

In sum, this House Democrat draft legislation represents a tectonic shift in the net neutrality debate.

  • The reality of a listless economy that is not producing jobs and the reality of mid-term elections that bring accountability to the Washington process, both have dramatically shifted this FreePress-driven polarized net neutrality issue back into the boundaries of reasonableness and constructiveness.