updated 08:40 pm EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Obama administration plans to honor FCC rules
The Obama administration in a statement (PDF) said it would veto a Congressional resolution that, if passed, would try to overturn the FCC's net neutrality rules. Currently waiting on a Senate vote, SJ Resolution 6 was opposed by the White House as it would "undermine" a strategy intended to focus on an open Internet. Letting newcomers run competing services on Internet providers without the worry of "undue discrimination" was vital not just to the economy and jobs but also to free speech, the administration said.
"It would be ill-advised to threaten the very foundations of innovation in the Internet economy and the democratic spirit that has made the Internet a force for social progress around the world," it said.
The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson and mostly cosponsored by fellow party members, would have been an exact reversal. Removing the rules would let Internet providers and cellular carriers block competing services as well as discriminate against services in secret. On landlines, it would also let them slow down specific services to make them work less effectively than their own.
Most opposition outside of the political right has come from the corporations that would be affected by the measures. Verizon has tried to sue the FCC over the net neutrality rules. The legal action likely won't complete in time to stop the rules from taking effect on November 20.