House approves Save the Internet Act that would reinstate net neutrality
The Save the Internet Act was approved 232-190 Wednesday afternoon after months of debate and committee hearings in the House. The measure was introduced last month in both chambers by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) with plenty of fanfare from consumer advocacy groups and the American electorate. The bill, if approved, would restore the net neutrality rules put in place by way of the Obama-era FCC’s Open Internet Order in 2015 that were repealed under a Republican majority only two years later.
The measure would once again make it unlawful for internet service providers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to block or throttle consumer access to the internet and empower the FCC as the main authority to enforce those rules by way of Title II of the Communications Act. The Title I and Title II distinctions for the internet have been the main point of contention among Republicans and Democrats for years, and this same partisan debate reared its head once again when Democrats announced that they were planning to codify these rules into law earlier this year.
When internet providers are classified as Title II common carriers rather than a Title I communications services, they’re held to a higher regulatory standard similar to telephone, gas, and electric services. It also ensures that the FCC is able to enforce these rules and punish providers that are caught engaging in behaviors that would be unlawful under the Save the Internet Act.