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House Judiciary Approves Net Neutrality

House Judiciary passed the net neutrality bill (HR 5417) out of committee today. That would seem like good news for the net neutrality crowd, but it may not be. There is a good possibility that bill will never see a floor vote.

With the House Energy & Commerce Committee passing their version as part of the telecom reform package (HR 5252 – The COPE Act), there are now competing versions of net neutrality working to floor consideration. It’s likely some agreement will be reached behind closed doors.

The Senate actually has a fairly reasonable approach to this. The Stevens bill, as drafted, directs the FCC to study the issue and report back to the Senate with their findings. If the net neutrality crowd is right, and this behavior is rampant, then the FCC should find plenty. If not, the Senate will discover they’re trying to legislate a non-problem.

In any event, if either version in the house makes it through a floor vote, and the Senate passes something that looks like the Stevens draft, there will be a lot to work out in conference.

(Disclaimer: While I work for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, this post should in no way be construed as an official position of the Association. Thoughts in this space are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer.)

Written by Michael Turk