Senate Democrats Urge Appropriators To Fund Disputed Open Internet Rules
Top members of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on Wednesday called on congressional appropriators to preserve funding for Federal Communications Commission efforts to prevent anticompetitive behavior online.
Included in a House funding bill for 2012 is language that bars the FCC from using any funds to enforce so-called "net neutrality" rules, which prohibit Internet service providers from blocking certain websites. Republicans have criticized the rules as a government takeover of the Internet and have introduced and passed measures to overturn them.
In a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, 10 senators, including Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Commerce Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., and Judiciary Privacy, Technology and the Law Subcommittee Chairman Al Franken, D-Minn., said the FCC's rules are appropriate and should be allowed to go into effect.
"Some members of Congress have decided that they know better what is good for the Internet than the people who use, fund, and work on it," the letter states. "We side with the agency of expertise and supporters of the rule and urge you to reject any proposals that will prevent the FCC from implementing or enforcing its net neutrality rules."
September is the earliest likely date the net neutrality regulations would take effect.