Democrats are not willing to work on a net neutrality deal, arguing that Republicans are not offering enough concessions.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) is responsible for drafting the net neutrality legislation. But on Wednesday he said Democrats need to get on board in order to make it work.
The central issue with net neutrality lies in how much jurisdiction the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should have over broadband providers. In 2015 the FCC voted to have more control over internet providers to prevent them from being able to speed up or slow down traffic from select websites and apps. Internet providers were not allowed to play favorites, in other words. The FCC’s net neutrality is an effort to keep the American internet open and fair.
But the Trump administration has reversed some of the Obama administration’s FCC rules, like requiring internet providers to get users’ permission before sharing their personal data. Reversing net neutrality seems to be next on the agenda for the Trump administration.
A net neutrality bill would need 60 votes from the Senate and would require some Democrats to sign a Republican bill. No Democrat has shown interest in signing so far, and their bargaining starting line begins at “common carriers.” This is an FCC label for broadband providers, and it gives the government the jurisdiction needed to regulate them. If Republicans can agree to call providers common carriers, Democrats say, that’s a start.
H/T the Hill