Rep. Mike Coffman [R-CO] -- one of the signatories to the Democrat-led bid to overrule the FCC and restore Net Neutrality -- has introduced The 21st Century Internet Act, which amends the 1934 Telecommunications Act to add a new category of regulated service that ISPs will fit into, sidestepping the legal wrangles over earlier Net Neutrality efforts, which hung up on trying to squeeze the internet into categories that were set in the Marconi era.
The new classification is Title VIII. Title VIII services would be banned from engaging in paid prioritization, degrading traffic speed or quality, or charging access fees to "edge providers."
On top of providing stable ground for net neutrality rules to be upheld in the future, the legislation also makes it illegal for providers to participate in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” It directs the FCC to investigate claims of anticompetitive behavior on behalf of consumers after receiving their complaints. Transparency requirements are heightened for providers as well, as companies must publicly disclose information regarding their network practices to allow consumers to “make informed choices regarding use of such services.”
In a statement, the Internet Association, an organization that represents internet companies like Facebook and Google, commended Coffman for his bill. “A majority of Americans agree that consumers should have access to the entire internet and ISPs should not be able to engage in blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization of traffic on the internet,” the group wrote. “The 21st Century Internet Act reflects these principles and is a step in the right direction.”
The 21st Century Internet Act [Mike Coffman/R-CO]
GOP congressman introduces bill to reinstate net neutrality rules [Makena Kelly/The Verge]