Rep. Charles “Chip” Pickering (R-Miss.), who has argued against Net neutrality regulations in the past, is now co-sponsoring the rewritten measure, which is being called the Internet Freedom Preservation Act.
The modified approach is an apparent attempt to address the howls of protest from network operators, who have argued that previous Net neutrality bills in Congress amount to unnecessary Internet regulations.
The old bill decreed that broadband operators have certain duties: not blocking or degrading content, not prioritizing some applications over others, and not imposing “surcharges” for premium placement, to name a few. Violators would have been subject to penalties. A pending Senate bill, which hasn’t yet seen any action in this session of Congress, takes a similar approach.
The new Markey-Pickering bill, by contrast, proposes adding four broadband policy statements to existing federal communications law. Those statements build upon a set of broadband policy principles that the Federal Communications Commission adopted years ago, including recommendations that the government allow consumers to reach the lawful content and applications of their choice and hook up whatever devices they please, provided that they don’t harm the network.
Violation of those principles would not carry any penalties under the new bill