IDG News Service - A network neutrality proposal floated by Democratic members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee this week has stalled after a top Republican declined to support it.
Representative Joe Barton of Texas, the senior Republican member of the committee, said he would not support a net neutrality proposal offered by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat.
Waxman's proposals would have prohibited wired broadband providers from "unjustly or unreasonably" discriminating against legal Web traffic, but would not apply that prohibition to mobile providers. The bill would have prohibited all broadband providers from blocking consumer access to websites and from blocking legal websites, and it would have prohibited the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband as a regulated common-carrier service for two years.
Waxman, in a statement, said he was disappointed that Barton has rejected the proposal after the committee included Republican staffers in its deliberations. The proposal would have allowed both broadband providers and consumers to "emerge as winners," he said. "Consumers would win protections that preserve the openness of the Internet, while the Internet service providers would receive relief from their fears of reclassification."
The proposal would likely move forward only with bipartisan support, Waxman added. The committee may try to push forward on net neutrality legislation after November's elections, he said, when a lame-duck session of Congress is likely.
The lack of Republican support "is a loss for consumers and a gain only for the extremes," he added. "We need to break the deadlock on net neutrality so that we can focus on building the most open and robust Internet possible."
Republican members of the committee expressed concern that the net neutrality proposal could harm the broadband sector, Barton said in a statement. Barton applauded Waxman for the part of the proposal that would prevent the FCC from moving forward on its plan to reclassify broadband in an effort to pass formal net neutrality rules there.
"I have consulted with Republican leadership and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and there is a widespread view that there is not sufficient time to ensure that Chairman Waxman's proposal will keep the Internet open without chilling innovation and job creation," Barton said. "This is not a solution for the future of the Internet. America should be about preserving the vibrant and competitive free market that exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by federal or state regulation."
Barton called on the committee to "consider the issue deliberately, rather than punting with a halfway measure" days before Congress recesses for the November elections.
Some net neutrality supporters called on the FCC to move forward with its plan to create formal rules. Any Republican support of the Waxman plan would have come only as a way to prohibit the FCC from "upholding the public interest" and creating net neutrality rules, said Cathy Sloan, vice president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association trade group representing IT companies.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- How Four Citrix Customers Solved the Enterprise Mobility Challenge
- Managing mobile devices, data and all types of apps-Windows, datacenter, web and native mobile- through a single solution.
- 8 Steps to Fill the Mobile Enterprise Application Gap
- Traveling executives and Millennials alike expect to communicate, collaborate and access their important work applications and data from anywhere on whatever device they...
- Seattle Children's Accelerates Citrix Login Times by 500% with Cross-Tier Insight
- Seattle Children's is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. With ExtraHop, the IT team at Seattle Children's...
- McKesson Makes Application Hosting for Hospitals Faster, More Efficient
- With ExtraHop, McKesson identified the root cause of slow Citrix XenApp application launches and adopted a more intelligent, proactive IT operations model that... All Government IT White Papers
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope...
- All Government IT Webcasts