House Tries To Gut FCC Funding, Neutrality Rules

For a few months now House Republicans have been holding a series of "fact finding" hearings aimed at shaming the FCC and agency boss Tom Wheeler for standing up to incumbent ISPs and passing tough net neutrality rules. As part of that effort the House has been desperately searching for ways to erode the FCC's authority and strip its funding ahead of the rules taking effect this Friday.

From a House news release:

The bill contains $315 million for the FCC – a cut of $25 million below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $73 million below the request. The legislation prohibits the FCC from implementing net neutrality until certain court cases are resolved, requires newly proposed regulations to be made publicly available for 21 days before the Commission votes on them, and prohibits the FCC from regulating rates for either wireline or wireless Internet service.

Since the lawsuits could take several years to resolve, the House hope is that they prolong implementation of the rules until there's a new President in the White House, who, if Republican, would choose a like-minded FCC boss to dismantle the rules. The problem (for neutrality opponents) is that the President won't be signing such a poisoned bill.

Needless to say, consumer advocates and neutrality supporters are not impressed with the House's transparent bid to do incumbent ISPs' bidding.

"...The Appropriations Committee ban on FCC enforcement that “directly or indirectly” regulates prices would prevent the FCC from performing even the most basic consumer protection action, such as the recent FCC enforcement against wireless carriers requiring them to refund charges for services customers did not order or had discontinued," said consumer group Public Knowledge in a statement. "The Appropriations Committee would rather declare open season to rob American broadband subscribers with overcharges and ripoffs than allow the FCC to do its job."

House Tries To Gut FCC Funding, Neutrality Rules

thanks hp!