Multiple news sources, including The Hill and Fortune, are reporting a new bill was introduced last week to replace the open internet rules that were repealed in 2017.
Created by democrats, and called the Save the Internet Act, the bill intends to restore the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s rules about net neutrality, which were instituted while Obama was in office, according to Fortune. The bill does not bring to light a brand new law, but rather “wipes out” the existing order by FCC chief Ajit Pai in 2017, “which effectively killed net neutrality.”
Pai’s order stemmed from years’ worth of the GOP criticizing Obama-era rules, partly because those rules reclassified broadband as a telecommunications service. After being appointed by President Trump, Pai said that “the FCC should be in the business of ‘micromanaging business models and preemptively prohibiting services and applications and products that could be pro-competitive,’” Fortune says.
However, Pai’s order ended up rolling back consumer protection, which was met by lashback and law suits alike. In fact, “86% of Americans surveyed saying they opposed the repeal of net neutrality,” Fortune says; the state of California even enacted its own net neutrality law “in an attempt to cancel out federal regulations.”
Takeaways for decision makers:
If the Save the Internet bill is passed, it looks like net neutrality regulations will be back in action, and decision makers can conduct business as usual, or, rather, business before it was interrupted by Pai’s order. For the time being, there’s not much decision makers can do except watch and wait to see what happens. The Hill reports that a panel of federal court judges has already heard oral arguments in favor of the new bill, and are expected to “issue a ruling” by summer 2019.