A net neutrality bill known as the ‘Save the Internet Act,’ which aims to restore the open Internet order of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), passed through the subcommittee on Communications and Technology session, despite some last-minute amendments introduced by lawmakers in an attempt to weaken the bill. In the next step, the bill will be forwarded to the full Committee. Although the public clearly wanted a clean restoration of the original rules, the new bill will face a tougher uphill climb in the Senate, and would also need to avoid a veto by President Trump to become a law.
The Internet’s success lies in its design, which is based on the principle of net neutrality. From the outset, the flow of all the content on the Internet was treated without discrimination. New entrepreneurs did not need permission or market power to innovate on the Internet. With the development of new digital services, especially the ones consuming high bandwidth such as high-quality video streaming, some Internet operators (telecom companies and ISPs) started prioritising certain traffic – such as their own services or the services of their business partners – based on business needs and plans, justifying such an approach with a need to raise funds to further invest in the network. Net neutrality proponents strongly fight back such plans arguing this could limit open access to information and online freedoms, and stifle online innovation.