IIA Proposes Net Neutrality Legislation to Solve FCC Title II Dilemma
NEWS ANALYSIS: The idea at the Internet Innovation Alliance is to create legislation that could be supported by both sides of the political spectrum, but will it fly?At first, Rick Boucher's idea seemed too good to be true. The former Democratic Congressman from Virginia was proposing an idea so radical that I had to check my notes to make sure I hadn't been daydreaming. The concept was a bipartisan bill that would give both Democrats and Republicans something each party wants and little or nothing they don't. Boucher, honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, offered draft legislation that would give the Democrats guaranteed, long term, net neutrality and Republicans something they really want, which is to return Internet access to being an information service rather than a telecommunications service, as it is under Title II. Perhaps more important, the bill that Boucher proposes doesn't attempt to do anything else. Boucher's reasoning is based on a recent change of heart in Republican circles regarding net neutrality. Lately, it seems the party is OK with the concept as long as they eliminate the real problem they see with Title II, which is the reclassification. "What is so different today is that the Republicans have offered to the Democrats that range of network neutrality protection," Boucher said.
"The Republicans have said that they're willing to put strong protections for net neutrality in place and continue to have protection for information services," Boucher explained. He said that for their part, the Democrats have told him that they're willing to work with the Republicans as long as any legislation doesn't become loaded down with provisions they can't support.