Net Neutrality Battle Continues in Congress with Anti-Prioritization Bill

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Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) have each introduced the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act (S. 2476 and H.R. 4880), which would require the FCC to ban broadband providers from prioritizing Internet traffic except in certain emergency circumstances.  Unlike the recent House bill aimed at barring the FCC from reclassifying broadband under Title II (Common Carriers) of the Communications Act, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would not change or limit the FCC’s current authority options to regulate broadband providers.  The bill specifically would direct the FCC to promulgate regulations that prohibit broadband providers from (1) making any agreement with an edge provider company that gives preferential treatment or priority to that company’s content over any other edge provider’s content, and (2) giving preferential treatment or priority to the broadband provider’s own content, services or devices.  The bill also would not impact emergency communications or communications of law enforcement, public safety or national security authorities.  Both Senate and House versions of the bill have been referred to their respective commerce committees.

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