Democrats Announce Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Amid Grassroots Pressure

After sustained grassroots activism made net neutrality a key component of the Democratic Party’s agenda in the new Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that Democrats plan to introduce legislation on Wednesday to restore the open internet protections repealed by the Republican-controlled FCC last year.

While the text of the bill — formally titled the “Save the Internet Act” — has not yet been released, net neutrality campaigners and policy experts expressed hope that the bill will aim to fully restore the strong open internet protections killed by the FCC, which is currently chaired by former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai.

“The bill isn’t out yet, but we hope it will give a congressional stamp of approval to the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules and the whole Open Internet Order,” Tim Karr, senior director of strategy and communications at Free Press, told Common Dreams. “That’s crucial, because the legal framework already in Title II is the baseline for guaranteeing the full range protections demanded by internet users, including overwhelming majorities of Democratic and Republican voters.”

The renewed congressional effort to restore net neutrality comes after the House failed to pass a resolution to overturn the FCC’s repeal before the deadline last December. The Senate passed the resolution last May by a 52-47 vote.

Following Pelosi’s announcement on Monday, the advocacy group Demand Progress credited open internet supporters nationwide for keeping up the pressure on their members of Congress to restore net neutrality rules, which are supported by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans.

“Because of grassroots activism, lawmakers are making the restoration of net neutrality a top priority this Congress,” the group said on Twitter. “Activists have kept this issue alive and have refused, flat out, to give Big Cable lobbyists a win — let’s keep making…

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