Rep. Steve Stivers Co-Sponsors Bill To Replace Net Neutrality, But Critics Say It's Not Enough

Dec 21, 2017

Republican Rep. Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington is a lead co-sponsor on a bill introduced this week aimed at replacing net neutrality, called the Open Internet Preservation Act. But Internet lobby groups say it falls short of the necessary protections.

The Federal Communications Commission voted last week to eliminate the "net neutrality" rules placed by the Obama administration, which banned Internet companies from blocking or slowing individual websites or apps. They also prevented companies from prioritizing some websites over others.

In a press release, Stivers says his legislation, introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, creates crucial consumer protections that "millions of Americans have asked for." 

He says the Open Internet Preservation Act prohibits blocking or slowing down online content by internet service providers. But The Washington Post reports it would not stop internet service providers from charging for faster access over other websites.

Lobbying group Internet Association, which represents content giants Amazon, Google and Facebook, has come out against the bill, calling it "net neutrality in name only." The group argues the law does not have a ban on paid prioritization, which would require companies to pay broadband providers extra in order to increase the speed of their website. 

A number of state Attorneys General have said they will take legal action against the FCC for its repeal of net neutrality, although Ohio's Mike DeWine will not join.

A poll by the University of Maryland shows that more than 80 percent of the public disagrees with the repeal.