Pressure Ramps Up on Sen. Sinema Over Net Neutrality

Fight for the Future has brought its net neutrality "shaming" billboard campaign to the Arizona stomping grounds of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) over her apparent willingness to compromise to get to "yes" on compromise net neutrality rule legislation.

Sinema has not followed her Democratic senatorial colleagues in supporting the Save the Internet Act, which would restore rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.

Related: FFTF Pledges District Call-Outs for Net Neutrality Bill No-Shows

She also joined with Republican Senator Roger Wicker (R-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, to form a net neutrality working group which will focus on "crafting a net neutrality proposal to encourage innovation, boost investment, and close the digital divide."

Republicans and ISPs are on board with rules against blocking, throttling and anticompetitive paid prioritization, but not a return of Title II authority or the general conduct standard. Those last two are must-haves for many Dems, so the path to a bipartisan bill is certainly uphill, although both sides say they want legislative certainty to end the legal back-and-forth over FCC rules of the past decade-plus.

“Apparently the only people Senator Sinema cares about are telecom lobbyists,” said Fight for the Future deputy director Evan Greer in a statement. “Otherwise, how the heck do you explain her refusal to support the Save the Internet Act? The bill just passed the House 232-190 with bipartisan support. Every other Democrat in the House and Senate supports it." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.