A new draft of a telecommunications bill released on Monday by the Senate Commerce Committee fails to resolve the issue of whether to impose “net neutrality” regulations on cable and telephone providers, with the related sections of the legislation remaining unchanged from its previous version, The Washington Post reports.
So-called net neutrality provisions would determine the ways in which cable and telephone firms can charge other companies for access to their services.
The Senate telecom bill charges the FCC with studying the issue annually and reaching out to Congress should any problems arise, according to the Post.
As is, the Senate bill would help telephone providers get franchises to sell cable television offerings, according to the Post, and a Senate panel will meet today to discuss it for the third time, as well as conduct a markup of the bill on June 20, the Post reports.
Backers of net neutrality say the Web needs to be kept “neutral” so that network operators can’t give content providers that pay for special, speedier delivery preferential treatment over those that don’t. Telephone and cable providers claim they will not shut out certain sites, but want the ability to regulate their own networks and charge parties that are willing to pay for special treatment.
Just last week, the U.S. House of Representatives shot down a provision within a telecom bill that would’ve made it illegal for broadband providers to offer faster service speeds to partners than competitors, a significant blow to net neutrality proponents.
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