House Republican proposes net neutrality replacement bill

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Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., introduced a bill Tuesday that would reinstate some of the net neutrality rules the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal last week, according to The Hill.

Critics of the legislation claim Ms. Blackburn's bill falls short of the previous protections, which prohibited broadband companies from prioritizing or blocking some content over others. Her bill would ban internet service providers from blocking or slowing content but would still allow them to charge websites for faster data spends and preempt states from implementing stronger protections. 

Groups that tried to prevent the FCC's repeal called her bill a watered-down revamp of the Obama-era regulations.

"The proposal circulated today does not meet the criteria for basic net neutrality protections — including bright-line rules and a ban on paid prioritization — and will not provide consumers the protections they need to have guaranteed access to the entire internet," Michael Beckerman, head of the Internet Association, a trade group that represents tech companies like Facebook and Google, told The Hill.

One of the biggest concerns surrounding the repeal is the creation of internet fast lanes that would force sites to pay companies for faster services, according to The Hill. Supporters of net neutrality claim this could hurt internet startups, as well as innovation.

"This is not real net neutrality legislation," said Evan Greer, an activist with the group Fight for the Future. "It's a poorly disguised slap in the face to Internet users from across the political spectrum. Blackburn's bill would explicitly allow Internet providers to demand new fees from small businesses and Internet users, carving up the web into fast lanes and slow lanes."

Attorneys general from multiple states suggested banding together in a class action lawsuit against the repeal, although many have yet to cite a legal case against the FCC.

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