Net Neutrality: Devil is in the details or the budget

Senator Al Franken (with Senator Markey) is leading a pack of Democrats to make sure that changes in budget procedures don’t dampen Net Neutrality rules. According to Ars Techinca, Franken spoke about this issue in press conference earlier this week.

Here’s the issue…

The budget proposal from House Republicans says that “none of the funds made available” to the FCC may be used to implement net neutrality rules until “there has been a final disposition” on the court cases pitting ISPs vs the FCC.

The House and Senate proposals also prohibit the FCC from “directly or indirectly” regulating the prices and terms charged and imposed by broadband providers. This prohibition would remain in place even after the court cases are decided. The FCC hasn’t regulated the prices charged by ISPs, but Franken said a prohibition on “indirect” regulation could block the FCC’s ban on paid prioritization.

Budget negotiations are ongoing.

This puts Net Neutrality into a Neverland of sorts as both parties strive to get to that “final disposition”, Franken (and others) are promoting that Net Neutrality rules become the default in the meantime…

Senators Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) today said they will try to preserve the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules in a budget standoff with Republicans.

A Republican budget proposal that came out in June would prevent the FCC from enforcing its net neutrality rules until Internet providers who are suing the commission have exhausted all their legal options.

“ISPs are certainly free to file their suits but until they prevail, and I don’t believe they will, there is no basis for Republicans blocking the FCC from doing its job,” Franken said in a press conference today.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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