Battle Over Net Neutrality Not Over Yet


Tubular, dude.

Well, here's one potential way to get around the Federal Communications Commission's recently enacted net neutrality rules. Via National Journal:

House Republicans are not giving up on their quest to block the Federal Communications Commission from implementing its open Internet rules.

The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee is set to take up a fiscal 2012 spending bill on Thursday that includes language barring the FCC from using any of its funding to put into effect the rules, which bar broadband providers from discriminating against Internet content, services or applications.

The appropriations bill also would cut funding for the FCC by $17 million over the fiscal 2011 level and would provide $40 million less than what President Obama asked for in his budget request.

The problem with this approach, as with other legislative tactics, is that it requires Senate approval. That's just not realistic. It's far more plausible at this point that the rules will be invalidated through the court system. Verizon has already filed one suit against the new rules. That suit was tossed out on a technicality, but the technical violation—essentially, Verizon filed too early—isn't likely to do anything other than delay a legal reckoning of some kind for the FCC's rules.

Read my March, 2011 feature on the battle to enact net neutrality rules here