January 6, 2011, 2:53 PM

FCC’s net neutrality rules come under attack in Congress

Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s bill would block the FCC from regulating web access.

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It didn’t take long for opponents to launch a fight against the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules.

U.S. Rep. Marsh Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, introduced a bill this week that would block the FCC’s rules that broadly prevent Internet service providers from giving priority to certain web traffic. The FCC adopted the net neutrality rules Dec. 21 in a partisan 3-2 vote, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans against.

"The FCC's Christmas week Internet grab points out how important it is that we pass this bill quickly,” Blackburn says. “The only sector of our economy showing growth is online. In these times, for an unelected bureaucracy with dubious jurisdiction and misplaced motives to unilaterally regulate that growth is intolerable.”

Blackburn says her bill, called the Internet Freedom Act, is being cosponsored by more than 60 representatives. She says that includes most Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee one of whose subcommittees focuses on technology and the Internet.

Blackburn filed a similar bill, HR 3924, in the previous session of Congress, but it was not enacted.

Online retailers generally favor the concept of net neutrality because it would ensure delivery of content from their sites on an equal footing with content from other web sites.

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