Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneSenate Republican: We need bipartisan net neutrality legislation Net neutrality protests to blanket internet Delay in August recess could boost chances for long-term aviation bill in Senate MORE (R-S.D.) is calling for bipartisan legislation on the net neutrality Day of Action.
Thune in a Recode oped critiqued the uncertainty of relying on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), whose leadership can change every time the party in the White House does, to regulate the internet. Instead, Thune suggests that lawmakers should pass legislation to solidify net neutrality regulations.
The South Dakota senator’s call to action comes as major internet companies, like Facebook, Amazon and Google, alongside smaller firms and advocacy groups try to raise awareness to stop FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s (R) plan to hinder net neutrality provisions.
“On this day of action, let’s not settle for slogans, and instead demand a resolution that finds agreement and concludes this debate,” Thune writes. “What the internet needs to end regulatory uncertainty and recurring threats of litigation is an enduring, bipartisan law from Congress to protect internet freedom by codifying widely accepted net neutrality protections.”
The Senate Commerce Committee chairman said he knows that that is easier said than done.
The two parties are stuck on the Title II provision within former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Open Internet Order of 2015, which gives the agency the authority to regulate broadband providers.
Democrats say that they either want legislation to include the Title II provision or something that would have the same effect. Republicans say that this onerous and that broadband companies should be regulated more like other companies, instead of phone service providers or railroad firms, and be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission instead.
Republicans need some Democrats to sign on to get the votes they need for such legislation, but Thune has admitted he knows that this isn’t a possibility right now. Senate Democrats like Schatz, Sen. Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyNet neutrality protests to blanket internet Overnight Energy: Climate rule foe aims to challenge Manchin GOP shifts on new rights for air travelers MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenate Republican: We need bipartisan net neutrality legislation Trump’s FBI nominee to get hearing next week AT&T, senators spar over customers’ right to sue MORE (D-Conn.) and Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenSenate Republican: We need bipartisan net neutrality legislation Overnight Tech: Groups gear up for net neutrality ‘Day of Action’ | Trump sued for blocking Twitter users | Microsoft outlines plans to improve rural broadband Overnight Tech: Feds delay rule on entrepreneur visas | News industry wants help against Google, Facebook | Dems question FCC cybersecurity MORE (D-Ore.) among others have dug their feet in on net neutrality.