The Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules officially go into effect Friday. But Republicans are making a last-minute legislative push to keep them from taking effect. And their efforts to do so just cleared an important hurdle in the House.
GOP lawmakers have inserted a provision in a must-pass funding bill that prevents the FCC from enforcing its Internet provider regulations. The rules aim to keep providers from blocking or slowing Web sites, and they ban the selective speeding-up of sites in exchange for money. But a part of the legislation would freeze the rules until the Internet providers that have sued to overturn them receive an answer from the court. And on Thursday, the draft appropriations bill containing the measure was approved by the House Financial Services Subcommittee.
The bill now goes to the full committee, and has to be approved by the House, Senate and President Obama, so there's a ways to go.
Even as the legislative attempt to thwart the FCC moves forward, Internet providers are also waiting for a court to rule on their suit seeking to keep parts of the rules from taking effect. Many analysts expect that decision to come down in the next day or so, before the FCC's regulations become official June 12.
All this amounts to a full-court press by opponents of the rules — one that could prevent the FCC from overseeing Internet providers as it hopes to do.
An FCC spokesperson declined to comment.