In the year since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved its historic Open Internet Order, net neutrality has faced countless attacks in both the courts and Congress. Once again, the Order and the FCC’s broader authority have come under fire. H.R. 2666, the “No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act,” threatens the FCC’s ability to fulfill its congressionally-mandated responsibilities and represents yet another attempt by anti-net neutrality lawmakers to undermine an open Internet.
Broadly, the bill aims to codify the FCC’s decision in its Open Internet Order not to regulate the rates that ISPs charge consumers. This is arguably unnecessary, as the FCC has expressly eschewed the future use of rate regulation and forbore from the legal authorities that would allow it to set rates. Not surprisingly, the bill isn’t really intended to just hold FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to his promise not to engage in rate regulation. Rather, the bill’s overly broad and undefined language seems intended to create and exploit regulatory uncertainty to limit the FCC’s ability to enforce broader net neutrality principles and fulfill its oversight and consumer protection responsibilities.
That is why Engine joined 49 other organizations in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them and their colleagues to oppose the bill when it comes up for a vote later this week. You can read the full letter here, and we encourage you to reach out to your Representative to ask them to vote NO on H.R. 2666.