Broadband providers could again be prevented from blocking or throttling certain content or offering paid prioritization if Democrats in Congress prevail in passing a Net Neutrality resolution. A Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ed Markey (D- Mass.) would rescind the FCC’s latest action that eliminated Net Neutrality rules and would re-establish Net Neutrality guidelines originally adopted in 2015.
As a press release on Markey’s website explains, CRA resolutions “allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions at federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.” According to the press release, the Senate Net Neutrality resolution has the support of all 49 Democratic senators. That means it would only need two non-Democratic supporters to pass.
Citing “a tsunami of Congressional and grassroots support” for Net Neutrality guidelines, Markey called on Republicans to “be on the right side of history and stand with the American people who support a free and open internet, or hold hands with the special interests who want to control the internet for their own profit.”
Net Neutrality Resolution
The Net Neutrality resolution comes just days after a Gfk survey found that 72% of people who say they understand Net Neutrality favor it. Nearly two thirds (64%) of those who say they don’t understand Net Neutrality say they favor it, researchers found.
Considering how the FCC has flipped back and forth on Net Neutrality, depending which political party was in power, some stakeholders have argued that the only permanent solution to Net Neutrality would be a legislative one.
The Net Neutrality guidelines that the Net Neutrality resolution seeks to re-impose were the strictest version of the guidelines imposed by the FCC. Unlike with earlier versions, those guidelines applied to wireless as well as wireline providers and imposed FCC control over interconnection agreements.
In reversing those guidelines last month, the commission went farther than before in the opposite direction by, for example, allowing broadband providers to charge more to content providers for priority delivery of their content.
According to Markey’s press release, supporting senators “will formally introduce the Net Neutrality resolution after the rule is submitted to both houses of Congress and published in the federal register and then force a vote within 60 legislative days.” By “rule,” the press release apparently means the resolution.