White House vows to veto bill that overturns net neutrality rules

The White House said Tuesday it would knock down any legislative attempts to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, a set of Internet access regulations that’s being attacked from all angles.

In a statement, the Obama administration specifically said it opposes a legislative push by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) aimed at overturning the rules, which she and other critics have called overly burdensome for Internet access providers. Hutchison’s proposal is expected to be voted on this week.

“If the President is presented with (Hutchison’s resolution), which would not safeguard the free and open Internet, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the Resolution,” the White House said..

Obama has long supported net neutrality — the idea that all Internet content should be delivered at equal speeds and no Web services blocked. In the statement, the White House described the 2010 FCC rules as “enforceable, effective but flexible policy for keeping the Internet free and open.”

The rules, approved late last year, will officially go into effect Nov. 20.

“An important element of this leadership is that the open Internet enables entrepreneurs to create new services without fear of undue discrimination by network providers,” the White House said in its statement.

The FCC rules are also being challenged in court by Verizon Communications and Metro PCS who say the agency doesn’t have the authority to create such rules on broadband providers. Meanwhile, public interest group Free Press has sued the FCC too, saying the rules are too weak because they don’t protect wireless consumers as concretely as they do home landline Internet customers.


Cecilia Kang is a staff writer covering the business of media and entertainment.

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