US House Passes Save the Internet Act
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement after H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, passed on the floor of the House of Representatives by a vote of 232-190:
“Today, the House voted to restore a free and open internet for the American people. The Save the Internet Act reinstates net neutrality and protects consumers from internet service providers slowing down, blocking, or charging more for accessing certain sites. Democrats promised an agenda for the people, and this legislation puts consumers first by ensuring that they control their internet experience, not big corporations. “The American people are rightfully demanding that critical net neutrality protections be restored in law, and I’m hopeful this strong House vote helps build momentum for action in the Senate.”
On the other side of the aisle, Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) released the following statement after passage of the Act: “We all want an open and free internet – a permanent solution to ensure this phenomenon continues to power opportunity and innovation. Unfortunately, Democrats refused to work in a bipartisan way to achieve that goal. Their solution is not real net neutrality. Net neutrality does not require a government takeover of the internet. And everyone knows their bill will never become law.”
The FCC Commissioners also weighed in on the development.
Chairman Pai issued a statement on the “so-called ‘Save the Internet’ Act, which would reinstate heavy-handed Title II regulations on the Internet”. He said, in part: “This legislation is a big-government solution in search of a problem. The Internet is free and open, while faster broadband is being deployed across America. This bill should not and will not become law.”
Commissioner Rosenworcel issued a statement saying: “Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to once again make net neutrality the law of the land. Their legislative effort gets right what the FCC got so wrong. When the agency rolled back net neutrality protections, it gave broadband providers the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. This decision put the FCC on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public. The momentum around the country—from small towns to big cities, from state houses to court houses, from governors’ executive actions to today’s action in Congress—is proof the American people are not done fighting for an open internet. I’m proud to stand with them in that fight.
Commissioner Carr issued a statement saying: “The United States has turned the page on the failed broadband policies of the Obama Administration. By getting the government out of the way, Internet speeds are up 40%, the digital divide is closing across rural America, and the U.S. now has the world’s largest deployment of next generation 5G networks. There’s a lot of common ground on net neutrality. But this bill studiously avoids it. It elevates the partisan politics of Title II over widely-supported rules of the road and would turn back the clock on the progress America is making.”
Commissioner O’Rielly issued a statement saying: “Like many others, I would have welcomed a clear, thoughtful, and bipartisan Congressional directive with respect to the FCC’s authority over the Internet. However, H.R. 1644 is not even remotely an intellectually honest or serious effort to create regulatory certainty or legislate net neutrality. It is a political statement built on a broken abomination of an FCC rulemaking. I remain firmly opposed to any attempt to subject the Internet to burdensome and anachronistic public utility regulation, especially any effort to ban paid prioritization. The one positive aspect that emerged from this gamesmanship is House Democrats’ firm declaration against taxing the Internet via USF fees. Levying such fees on this vital and flourishing resource would impede Americans’ digital access, and I am glad there is bipartisan agreement on this key issue.”
Commissioner Starks issued a statement saying: "I’m glad the House passed the Save the Internet Act today. It protects net neutrality by restoring enforceable rules and reinstating the FCC as the cop on the beat responsible for protecting consumers. The FCC was established to promote and police the communications networks of this country. Broadband is the communications network of our present and future. The endurance of the open internet cannot be left to chance or the whims of massive profit maximizing corporations. This administration’s hasty, careless abandonment of the carefully crafted, common sense 2015 Open Internet framework was ill-considered and flat out wrong."
The Regulatory Mix Today: US House Passes Save the Internet Act, INCOMPAS Responds to House Passage of the Save the Internet Act, FCC Enforcement Advisor on Video TV Set-Top Boxes
INCOMPAS Responds to House Passage of the Save the Internet Act
In response to the House vote, Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, and a former Republican member of Congress, released the following statement: “Streaming is saving consumers money, and the Save the Internet Act will help save streaming competition. Today’s vote in the House is welcome news to streamers, start-ups, and main street small business owners who have called on Congress to restore strong open internet protections. The Save the Internet Act mirrors bipartisan action passed by the Republican- controlled U.S. Senate last year, and we urge the Senate to pass the Save the Internet Act. We also wish to thank Chairman Mike Doyle, Chairman Frank Pallone and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for their leadership. Last year INCOMPAS supported a Republican bill in the House that included the same critical protections as the Save the Internet Act. It is time for Congress to ensure that all four corners of the net neutrality protections are reinstated—no blocking, no throttling, no paid prioritization and strong interconnection. We look forward to building bipartisan consensus in the Senate based on these protections and ensuring that net neutrality is reinstated as the law of the land.”
FCC Enforcement Advisor on Video TV Set-Top Boxes
The FCC has released an Enforcement Advisory concerning the use of unauthorized Video TV Set-Top Boxes. The FCC said it has observed an increase in the marketing of Video TV Set-Top Boxes, designed to stream Internet-based content, that do not comply with FCC equipment marketing requirements. Marketing “includes [the] sale or lease, or offering for sale or lease, including advertising for sale or lease, or importation, shipment, or distribution for the purpose of selling or leasing or offering for sale or lease.” Anyone marketing or operating noncompliant devices was directed to stop immediately. Violators may be subject to substantial monetary penalties that could total more than $147,000 per violation.
Under both the Communications Act and the FCC’s rules, set-top box devices must be properly authorized prior to being imported, advertised, sold or operated6 in the United States. In addition, such devices cannot be marketed in the United States without FCC-required labeling and user manual disclosures. Equipment that does not comply with these requirements cannot be legally marketed or operated in the United States. The Advisory lists the specific rules and obligations applicable to set-top boxes.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.