Net Neutrality
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Here’s The GOP’s Net Neutrality Bill

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This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: Post-CES Blues

The text of the proposed GOP net neutrality bill is out. The larger technology community is still digesting its various proposals. Here’s what I got from a first read:

  1. The bill takes away authority from the FCC to determine net neutrality rules. Instead, the authority of the FCC is to merely enforce what Congress passes.
  2. Title II is out, and the FCC is banned from using any authority under Section 706 for new rules. This kneecaps the two legal foundations that the FCC has considered using to undergird net neutrality rules.
  3. There are large allowances made for exceptions, including the incredibly broad concepts of “emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities.” So, it’s net neutrality, except when the government or a private corporation deems the moment more important than the rules.
  4. It does include what appear to be decent rules against blocking and paid prioritization, but which are privy to the above-listed exceptions.

By essentially gutting the ability of the FCC to manage the issue of net neutrality, the GOP is overtly turning the open Internet into a partisan issue, leaving it open to the usual horseshit and chicanery that we see from Congress.

I won’t say that I agree with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on every issue and mote of technology, but I’ll take an independent leader and agency over the House any day, regardless of what party is currently in power.

Here’s the bill:

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