US House of Representatives Votes Against Net Neutrality

More political theater in Washington that threatens the open internet that we as enthusiasts, hold dear. The bill would in effect, destroy the (rather weak) rules the FCC has put up to ban ISPs such as Comcast from blocking internet traffic, with exceptions for management and rationing.

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) states:

“We think the FCC overstepped their boundaries,” he said. “This is something that should be done and solved in the halls of Congress”

Scalise also reiterated his belief that such regulation would stifle innovation and job creation from the telecoms if such rules were imposed. Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) however, disagrees by saying that regulations have instead helped competition flourish, using the issue with AT&T in the 80’s as an example.

“Verizon’s not going to invent anything new. What they want to do is squeeze competitors,”

Both sides adamantly think the opposing viewpoint would be detrimental to the market. Representative Henry Cuellar, (D-TX) one of the few Democrats who voted for the bill, stated that he believed federal funding should be diverted towards promoting broadband competition instead of letting the FCC use it for enforcement. A valid point, but how this would be implemented remains to be seen.

A lot of us however, understand that broadband competition in the United States runs straight into a wall due to geographical issues. With many states having bans on local broadband plans, good competition may be difficult to achieve.