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A small group of Democratic Congressional lawmakers has reintroduced the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act. The bill targets plans by the U.S Federal Communications Commission to allow paid prioritization contracts by broadband providers.

After FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler expressed openness to changing regulations on broadband providers to allow web content producers paid prioritizing agreements a collection of Congressional Democrats have responded by attempting to limit the U.S Federal Communications Commission’s ability to alter the existing rules on net neutrality. The crux of the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act is leveling an explicit ban on paid prioritization agreements to the FCC. According to the bill, the FCC would be forced to comply with existing regulations, and be unable to allow broadband providers the ability to change regulations specifically in regards to all contracted online prioritization. This includes limiting the ability of traffic management over the consumer and limiting content host websites such as Hulu or Netflix to paying for faster access rates. The primary Democratic sponsors of the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act include Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Representative Doris Matsui of California. The bill has six other Democratic sponsors in the House, and three in the Senate. Independent Senator, and possible presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders of Vermont is also a sponsor of the bill.

Facing enormous opposition to his stance on eliminating net neutrality, including criticism from the White House, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler admitted at CES that he is considering reclassifying online access to falling under Title II of the Communications Act as a public utility. According to reports from the trade show Wheeler conceded that his earlier considerations did not go far enough to protect consumers. Reports claim that his remarks were conciliatory, but also confusing in representing what impact reclassifying under Title II would have. Wheeler made claims in regards to what is considered “commercially reasonable” which upset net neutrality advocates. Consumer advocates that are in favor of Title II reclassification have stated that Wheeler did make caveats to his arguments on mobile net neutrality, and are not satisfied with his statements.

Thomas Nelson

Born in Niagara Falls, the northeast edge of the rust belt, amateur author and audiophile Thomas Nelson has exhausted almost two decades as an elitist PC gamer. His interests include history, ideology, philosophy, politics and spending an obscene amount of time staring at a computer screen. He has a degree in broadcasting and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at Buffalo State University in political science. Thomas is currently writing for TechRaptor, a video game and tech publication.

  • Ug, not this crap again.
    it seems that the internet will only be truly “neutral” if it becomes it’s own country.

  • coboney

    He’s also got his job due to obama and backed obama in the past. So when he had the choice between the cable and democrats looks like he’s decided after the pres’ speech he was going democrat.

  • Zepid

    Tom Wheeler is the former head lobbyist for Comcast.

  • Zepid

    You’re retarded, all FCC Chairmen are appointed by the president.

  • Zepid

    The author doesn’t understand the source material. Tom Wheeler didn’t eliminate Net Neutrality. The judicial system did when it ruled in favor of Verizon in Verizon v FCC. The FCC is currently trying to regulate broadband within its minimal legal powers to reintroduce a form of net neutrality with Title II classification.

    I don’t expect it to go through because Congress is bought and paid for by ISPs and they will block any move to regulate.

  • Brad Sherard

    “Online competition”

    The US government at the municipal all the way to the federal level grants ISPs franchise utility monopoly privileges. Then they dare to claim to favor the consumer and to fight for competition. Its bullshit. They want more control and will pretend they are looking out for us to do it. Rather than actually have competition, they have removed consumers from the equation and replace us with their regulations.

    They want to be the driving force that determines how the industry serves consumers rather than we consumers ourselves.


  • Zepid

    You should look to landline services (think Title II in the 90s and the breakup of Bell) and line unbundling. I think you’re paranoid.

  • Thomas Nelson

    Reread the article. I never stated that Wheeler eliminated it. The FCC will make a decision in early February.

  • Thomas Nelson

    That wasn’t his point, dude. Relax. It is about D.C insider loyalty trumping corporate politic. Mainstream sources are saying Wheeler will side with the White House.

  • Brad Sherard

    That is not an argument.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Giving the FCC the internet is NOT the right way to stop prioritization. It will cause way WAY more problems than it solves.

    If you want to stop prioritization, pass a bill doing that. There’s ZERO reason to give the most censor happy organization in the US any additional power.

    Net neutrality was hijacked, stop thinking this current push is in any way related to what it was when you first learned about it.

  • Fruits

    He’s in the cable Hall of Fame.

  • Zepid

    That is a GOOD thing, put the crackpipe down son. This is the first thing the White House has been on-point about in the last 7 years.

    Are you seriously telling me the FCC should side with the Telcos who will continue sodomizing us and our wallets? That would just be par for course, how they’ve always done it (which is a terrible awful shame).

    Please understand the material before you write about it.

  • coboney

    I’m not saying its a bad thing. Its in my opinion a very good thing that he’s going this way – I’m strong for Title 2 over the other regulatory approaches I’ve seen the US propose. Wheelers previous ones that got leaked were very friendly to cable company’s and Obama came out in favour of Title 2. So when he had to decide – Obama may have had a little chat and Wheeler decided to go with this path rather then to the cable company’s. That is a good thing for the internet in my opinion.

  • coboney

    Wait – so the previous uses of Title II are… not relevant to the uses of Title II in the future?

  • Kind of hilarious that Wheeler used to lobby for telecom companies.

    I don’t expec him to change his tune anytime soon.

  • In my opinion, Title 2 is a much lesser evil than allowing the telecoms to keep going their own way.

  • TeLin特林

    Mother fucker…I’m tired of Democrats and Republicans. Fuck them both.

    Can we all please stop voting for either party?

    I am glad Obama sided against this shit, but screw the two party system.

    Maybe slightly off topic, but this shows they have little interest in us.