GOP votes to block Net Neutrality

Posted by Starr Keshet

The GOP-controlled House voted Thursday evening to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from implementing its controversial Net Neutrality order. The votes were cast in the form of an approved amendment to a wider spending bill that bars the use of any funds by the FCC to implement Neutrality regulations.

However, the vote is little more than symbolic at this stage, as the Democratic-controlled Senate has no intention of debating the House bill and will likely formulate its own version of the spending legislation.

According to Corey Boles of Dow Jones Newswires, this effectively sets up a "political battle of will" between the House and Senate.

Nevertheless, Republicans bitterly opposed to the concept of Net Neutrality continued to assail the order before a Thursday night vote.

"For some reason, the FCC has decided to overstep its bounds and apply 19th Century regulations to a 21st Century network," said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.).

Meanwhile, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), went so far as to accuse the FCC of "selectively applying  [Net Neutrality] rules to broadband providers [and] shielding" specific Web companies.

"Such picking of winners and losers will stifle the investment needed to perpetuate the Internet's phenomenal growth," claimed the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

(Via Dow Jones Newswires)