(PC World) – A group of U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation that would prohibit broadband providers from charging Web content generators for priority traffic management.
The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, introduced Tuesday by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Representative Doris Matsui of California, along with three other Democrats, would ban broadband providers from collecting fees from websites and online services for preferential traffic handling. The bill is an effort to get out front of a contentious debate about net neutrality rules.
In April, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced an effort to reinstate net neutrality rules after a U.S. appeals court threw out an old version of the regulations in January. But Wheeler’s approach of allowing broadband providers to engage in “commercially reasonable” traffic management, and—in some cases, possibly allowing paid prioritization—has prompted an outcry from Internet users.
In the past month, the FCC’s net neutrality proceeding has generated more than 120,000 public comments, with many people calling on the agency to regulate broadband like a utility and require that broadband providers treat all traffic equally.