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house Bill H.R. 2136

Preventing ISPs From Blocking or Throttling Content While Allowing Paid Prioritization

Argument in favor

This bill strikes an appropriate balance between ensuring that ISPs can’t block or throttle content on the internet while allowing for innovative services like paid prioritization to be attempted.

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10/20/2019
What is actually needed is Net Neutrality. It isn't just about putting the preferred advertisers of whichever stripe at the top of the search result. It is about notably slower internet connections and so forth. That bill is a poor substitute. It all comes of making people who are clearly not much like tech-savvy make decisions after dealing/ consulting with people who will be the sole beneficiaries of little or no net neutrality.
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Reeeeeeed's Opinion
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10/19/2019
Net neutrality lite is better than no net neutrality at all, and is a stepping stone back to true net neutrality. Net neutrality, which is only able to be ensured by the government, is necessary for a free and open internet which in turn is necessary for a free and open society in today’s age. While this plan does still allow for paid prioritization, which is a problem, the prevention of throttling is still very important and having one of these two issues resolved is better than having none.
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Brian's Opinion
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10/19/2019
The big internet companies need to be regulated. The FTC used to handle these things because it is interstate commerce. The FCC should also get involved because the airwaves are involved. I think our congress is leaving them alone because they are getting their pockets filled for looking the other way.
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Argument opposed

This bill doesn’t go nearly far enough in terms of re-imposing net neutrality rules, as paid prioritization of content should not be allowed. States should be able to make their own open internet standards.

jimK's Opinion
···
10/20/2019
No, net neutrality! Internet service providers are not specialty services anymore. They are necessary services which are essentially utilities in nature; services that for the most part are necessary in today’s world. They should be regulated as such. Would we let the gas company throttle the gas supply to poorer sections of town? Would we let the phone companies give priority to phone calls from paying ‘callers’-and be further inundated by telemarketers, scammers, politicians and so many, many charities? No, that would be inconceivable. My cellular provider provides high speed data access up to a small limit which I set, because I do not use much of the cellular data feeds. After my limit is reached, they throttle the data speed which is fine by me; I agreed to this in order to get the better rate for data availability which I minimally use. ISP’s are utilities and should be treated/regulated in the same matter as land line phones, natural gas and electric utilities. Enough of this game playing crap to give priority access to paying web servers and throttling the rest.
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Frank-001's Opinion
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10/20/2019
Oppose the bill. We need Full Net Neutrality not some half baked nonsense.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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10/20/2019
Full net neutrality! I don’t want a lite version. The internet is a UTILITY.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedApril 8th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2136?

This bill — known as the Open Internet Preservation Act — would prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking legal content or services and from impairing or “throttling” internet traffic on the basis of content. ISPs would be allowed to offer specialized services (like paid prioritization) but couldn’t offer them in ways that threaten the meaningful availability of broadband internet or are designed to evade the prohibitions imposed by this bill. To achieve this, the bill would codify the new transparency requirements adopted by the FCC’s 2017 Internet Freedom Rule to promote internet openness and growth. 

Additionally, this bill would: 

  • Define reasonable network management practices to reduce or mitigate the effects of network congestion or quality;
  • Grant the FCC the authority to manage transparency and consumer protection rules; and
  • Preempt state law to ensure a uniform standard nationwide  

States and their political subdivisions would be prohibited from enforcing a law or rule related to internet openness obligations in providing broadband internet service, meaning that this federal law would preempt state law.

Broadband internet service would be considered an “information service” under Title II of the Communications Act, effectively blocking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from attempting to re-impose net neutrality rules in the same manner it did in 2015.

Impact

Internet users; ISPs; states; and the FCC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2136

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to ensure the internet is a free and open space for consumers by outlawing blocking and throttling of internet content. In a press release upon introducing this bill, Rep. Smucker said: 

"The internet should be a free space. Commonsense regulation can be helpful and protect consumers, but oppressive federal strong-arming benefits no one, especially not the internet. When we encourage competition through the free market, we encourage business and individual growth as well as affordable, accessible internet for all Americans."

Last Congress, this bill was sponsored by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who tweeted the following regarding her bill to prohibit the blocking or throttling of internet traffic based on content while allowing paid prioritization:

“No blocking. No throttling. The Open Internet Preservation Act will ensure the internet is a free and open space. This legislation is simple, it provides light-touch regulation so companies can invest and innovate, and make sure our internet is up to 21st century standards.”

Net neutrality advocates have expressed opposition to this bill, with Fight for the Future’s Campaigns Director Evan Greer writing:

“This is not real net neutrality legislation. It’s a poorly disguised slap in the face of internet users from across the political spectrum. Blackburn’s bill would explicitly allow Internet providers to demand new fees from small businesses and Internet users, carving up the web into fast lanes and slow lanes.”

The Internet Association, a trade group comprising members including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Netflix, expressed its opposition to this bill last Congress, arguing that it didn't meet basic net neutrality protections

“The proposal… does not meet the criteria for basic net neutrality protections — including bright-line rules and a ban on paid prioritization... [It] will not provide consumers the protections they need to have guaranteed access to the entire internet. Net neutrality in name only is not enough to protect our economy or the millions of Americans that want and rely on these rules."

This bill doesn't have any cosponsors in the 116th Congress.

This legislation had the support of 41 Republican House cosponsors in the 115th Congress and didn't see committee action. A Senate companion bill, sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), didn't have any cosponsors and didn't see committee action.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: littlehenrabi / iStock)

AKA

Open Internet Preservation Act

Official Title

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure internet openness, to prohibit blocking of lawful content, applications, services, and non-harmful devices, to prohibit impairment or degradation of lawful internet traffic, to limit the authority of the Federal Communications Commission and to preempt State law with respect to internet openness obligations, to provide that broadband internet access service shall be considered to be an information service, and for other purposes.

    What is actually needed is Net Neutrality. It isn't just about putting the preferred advertisers of whichever stripe at the top of the search result. It is about notably slower internet connections and so forth. That bill is a poor substitute. It all comes of making people who are clearly not much like tech-savvy make decisions after dealing/ consulting with people who will be the sole beneficiaries of little or no net neutrality.
    Like (69)
    Follow
    Share
    No, net neutrality! Internet service providers are not specialty services anymore. They are necessary services which are essentially utilities in nature; services that for the most part are necessary in today’s world. They should be regulated as such. Would we let the gas company throttle the gas supply to poorer sections of town? Would we let the phone companies give priority to phone calls from paying ‘callers’-and be further inundated by telemarketers, scammers, politicians and so many, many charities? No, that would be inconceivable. My cellular provider provides high speed data access up to a small limit which I set, because I do not use much of the cellular data feeds. After my limit is reached, they throttle the data speed which is fine by me; I agreed to this in order to get the better rate for data availability which I minimally use. ISP’s are utilities and should be treated/regulated in the same matter as land line phones, natural gas and electric utilities. Enough of this game playing crap to give priority access to paying web servers and throttling the rest.
    Like (100)
    Follow
    Share
    Oppose the bill. We need Full Net Neutrality not some half baked nonsense.
    Like (57)
    Follow
    Share
    Full net neutrality! I don’t want a lite version. The internet is a UTILITY.
    Like (51)
    Follow
    Share
    Net neutrality lite is better than no net neutrality at all, and is a stepping stone back to true net neutrality. Net neutrality, which is only able to be ensured by the government, is necessary for a free and open internet which in turn is necessary for a free and open society in today’s age. While this plan does still allow for paid prioritization, which is a problem, the prevention of throttling is still very important and having one of these two issues resolved is better than having none.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    Net neutrality is a LIE! And now some rino wants “neutrality lite”? No, Keep the internet free and neutral by keeping the government out of it. The free market works just fine.
    Like (21)
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    NET NEUTRALITY NOW. Ajit Pai had no right to sell our public utility to his owners.
    Like (21)
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    Since Trump appointed an industry shill over the FCC, there has been a concerted effort to screw consumers and limit content. This is both un-American and anti democratic. This bill is an attempt to provide a fig leaf while increasing corporate profits even more. If we don’t want to end up like China, we’d better ALL fight this.
    Like (18)
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    BRING BACK TRUE net neutrality!!!
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    Changed my vote. I want net neutrality back. This is not net neutrality. Net neutrality, net neutrality, net neutrality!!!!!
    Like (10)
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    The big internet companies need to be regulated. The FTC used to handle these things because it is interstate commerce. The FCC should also get involved because the airwaves are involved. I think our congress is leaving them alone because they are getting their pockets filled for looking the other way.
    Like (10)
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    This is more corporate welfare
    Like (9)
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    No. This has the same effect as throttling. The sites that can afford to get their content to you faster will pay to do so leaving less-off competitors to suffer.
    Like (8)
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    Net neutrality is what we want. This is not it.
    Like (7)
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    Internet freedom at all levels speeds and content No prioritization for higher prices
    Like (7)
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    This bill didn’t go far enough to restore net neutrality.
    Like (7)
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    We need net neutrality. Period.
    Like (7)
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    Nay, because it is back by the same numskull who voted to roll back our Net Neutrality in the 1st place. Which, despite having won back the house, Democrats have yet to reinstate.
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    Net Neutrality! Not anything less!
    Like (7)
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    This would put all the power in the hands of those companies and individuals who have money to pay for their content to be promoted, and that's not neutral. That will over time increase inequality of access and information for all communities, which will erode the availability of the services we need. Restore full net neutrality now.
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