President Obama Pledges To Veto House Passage Of H.R. 2666 Anti-Net Neutrality Bill


President Obama supports broadband consumers and pledges to veto the H.R. 2666 Anti-Net Neutrality Bill, should it reach the Oval Office.

The White House mentions in a public letter that the bill has the potential to sabotage "key provisions in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet order."

Should the bill pass and need Obama's signature for promulgation, the president's advisors recommend that Barrack Obama vetoes it.  

At a quick read, H.R. 2666, aka the "No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act" seems to aid the FCC in its efforts to ensure that the improved set of net neutrality rules are respected. In effect, H.R. 2666 makes certain that the regulator is unable to interfere with broadband rates. Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Commission, promised this will not happen during his office time.

The main author of the bill is Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican Representative, who is backed by 19 cosponsors. The legislators claim that potential rate regulation will consistently increase the ISPs uncertainty and might even "discourage investment." Kinzinger&co also expressed concerns over the sustainability of unique pricing layouts or service plans, should the bill be rejected.  

According to the EFF, the bill has the ability to hinder the FCC's efforts of protecting consumers against data carriers' abuses such as throttling, data caps and paid prioritization.

One additional result of the bill passing is that it could negate the commission's power to stop ISPs from imposing certain services for free.

Late last year, the FCC questioned AT&T, T-Mobile and Comcast about their data exemption policies when users benefitted from freebie data streaming.

"This is not an investigation, this is not an enforcement. This is to help us stay informed as to what the practices are as we said we would do," Tom Wheeler stated at the time, during a press conference on Dec. 18.

Should the H.R. 2666 pass, the regulator will lose the authority to ask such questions.

"[It] would restrict the FCC's ability to take enforcement actions to protect consumers on issues where the FCC has received numerous consumer complaints," the White House points out.

With President Obama ending his last term in January, you might want to contact your representative in order to communicate your stance over net neutrality. Luckily, you can do so by going to EFF's page.

Net neutrality was a hot topic for the American media last year, when the FCC had to defend its regulations from data carriers in court. The agency reclassified broadband Internet providers as "common carriers" under the Title II of the Communications Act which dates to February 2015. This tightened the grip of government control over big data carriers, to their predictable irritation.

Major players of the broadband industry dug their heels into the ground and took the FCC to court over the new rules. The U.S. Telecom Association filed a court case against the FCC in July, pointing out that the agency lacked the authority to pass rules without having Congress support.

Multiple ISPs affirm that these rules will throttle innovation and put a damper on future investments.

A court decision should clarify the issue during the spring of 2016, but cable and telecom ventures can take the case to the Supreme Court, should the FCC win. 

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