House Bill Introduced to Bar Title II Reclassification

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Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) has introduced a bill (H.R. 4752) that would limit the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act.  On May 15, 2014 the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing a newly revised set of rules in its Open Internet (or net neutrality) proceeding.  As expected, the NPRM relies on the FCC’s authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act, which is in line with the D.C. Circuit decision that overturned the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules.  However, the FCC also emphasized that the NPRM’s contemplated invocation of authority under Title II of the Act is a “viable alternative.”  H.R. 4752’s stated purpose is to ensure that the Internet remains free from government interference by limiting the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband under Title II (Common Carriers) of the Communications Act.  The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.  It has been endorsed by the Independent Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the U.S. Telecom Association, and the Telecommunications Industry Association.

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