H.R. 2666 Would Undermine FCC’s Charge to Protect the Open Internet
In a disappointing turn of events, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 241 to 173 to pass H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, a bill that would undermine the FCC’s ability to enforce key net neutrality protections.
As we’ve mentioned previously, the bill’s ostensible purpose is to bar the FCC from regulating the rates of broadband Internet providers, thus locking into law a promise that the agency made when it introduced its new net neutrality rules last year. On its face, that’s not necessarily a bad idea.
The problem is that the bill is worded in such a way that it could be used to keep the FCC from enforcing many important protections of users’ rights. At best, H.R. 2666 is a poorly written bill that brings a host of unintended consequences. At worst, it’s a calculated attempt to undermine the net neutrality principles we’ve all been fighting for.
As the bill moves to the Senate this session, it’s crucial that senators reject it. Fortunately, President Obama has said that he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
For many of us in the digital rights community, the FCC’s Open Internet Order was the culminations of years of hard work. It was just the beginning, though. We must continue to urge both lawmakers and the executive branch to defend a free and open Internet.