​New Bill Threatens to Stop FCC Treating Broadband as a Utility

Illustration for article titled ​New Bill Threatens to Stop FCC Treating Broadband as a Utility

A new bill proposed by Republican Bob Latta could stop the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband as a common-carrier utility.


Despite the FCC's call for comment on whether to reclassify broadband as a utility or allow providers to engage in pay-for-play traffic management, the conversation could be rendered pointless if the mew legislation, proposed late Wednesday, passes. In a statement about his proposed bill Bob Latta, an Ohio Republican, explained:

"At a time when the Internet economy is thriving and driving robust productivity and economic growth, it is reckless to suggest, let alone adopt, policies that threaten its success. Reclassification would heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, restricting their flexibility to innovate and placing them at the mercy of a government agency.

"In light of the FCC initiating yet another attempt to regulate the Internet, upending long-standing precedent and imposing monopoly-era telephone rules and obligations on the 21st Century broadband marketplace, Congress must take action to put an end to this misguided regulatory proposal."

While Latta's proposal might find favour in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives—it has, after all, opposed FCC net neutrality initiatives in the past—it will, with any luck, meet with disapproval in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Hopefully the bill will struggle to pass muster with other rule makers generally, allowing the FCC to treat broadband as a common-carrier utility in the future. But even that's not a certainty—unless you tell it what you really think. [PC World]

Image via Shutterstock


It should not be classified as a public utility...although not for the reasons Rep. Latta proposes. Name a public utility that is paid at a flat rate. Not one that I know of. As soon as you call internet a public utility, you get the exact thing everyone is fighting against...Metered Internet. I enjoy my current all-you-can-eat flat rate. Even if it is to high in my mind. Something needs to be done, but turning the internet into a public utility is not the answer.