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Public Knowledge Warns of Net Neutrality-Targeted Amendment

Public Knowledge is rallying its supporters after learning that some House members plan to try and add an amendment to H.R. 5016, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to block funding of FCC network neutrality rules. H.R. 5016 is the bill that keeps funding the government and whose failure to pass can shut it down. The White House has already said it opposed the existing FCC budget cuts and threatened a veto of a bill it says politicized the budget process.

"Passing this dangerous amendment could stop the FCC before it even tries to make a decision in its ongoing net neutrality proceeding," said Public Knowledge in an e-mail Tuesday (July 15). "Without the current FCC proceeding, we will continue to have no rules governing an open internet."

It called on supporters to use an online tool to contact their representatives and tell them to vote no on the amendment, and to tweet the following call for Title II reclassification: "Tell Congress to vote NO to taking away FCC authority to reclassify broadband under Title II. #NetNeutrality"

House Republicans tried, and ultimately failed, to pass a similar amendment as part of the 2011 version of the same bill in July of that year, hoping to block the 2010 verions of open Internet rules.

The Republican-controlled House passed a resolution in 2011 to block implementation of the network neutrality rules, but it failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

July 15 is the deadline for comment on FCC Chairman Tom Wheelers attempt to restore a new version of the 2010 Open Internet rules thrown out earlier this year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

John Eggerton
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.