New bill to restore net neutrality approved by US House of Representatives

10 Apr 2019

The ‘Save the Internet Act’, a bill that would restore Obama-era net neutrality rules that prohibited blocking, throttling, and paid prioritisation, was voted and approved by the US House of Representatives. As Democrats have a majority in the House, the approval was expected. However, the bill is expected to face difficulties in becoming law, since it could be blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate or vetoed by President Trump. In addition, White House staff claimed that consumers have benefited from the net neutrality repeal.

 

 

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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.

 

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