House Republicans look to pull funding for net neutrality

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:54 EDT
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Money earmarked for the enforcement of net neutrality policies may not make it to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this year, if House Republicans have their way.

In an appropriations bill (PDF) which cleared the House Appropriations Committee yesterday, blocking out funds for financial services and government operations, legislative language specifically strikes tax dollars from being used to uphold the tenants of Internet regulations passed by the FCC in December, ostensibly requiring that wired data providers treat all traffic equally.

Republicans have vowed for months to target net neutrality, with House Speaker John Boehner insisting that it amounts to “a government takeover of the Internet.”

While that’s patently false, the rules do require wired Internet providers play fair with traffic from competitors’ services and not use network management practices to slow down one type of data versus another. The rules do not apply to wireless Internet providers and violations are not treated as serious crimes.

The latest appropriations bill contains language taken directly from a measure that failed in February, which sought to defund neutrality enforcement. Lawmakers in the House planned to debate the funding on Thursday.

(H/T: Talking Points Memo)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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