Sen. John Thune is committed to pursuing legislative measures to address the issue of net neutrality, insisting it is a better way forward than allowing the Federal Communications Commission to impose new regulations, The Washington Post
The report comes in direct contradiction to a New York Times story
saying that the South Dakota Republican had "all but surrendered" to Democrats and the FCC just days before the agency is due to vote for new rules proposed by its chairman, Tom Wheeler.
"Once the rules are made public for review, Sen. Thune is committed to pushing ahead. The FCC's direction is bad for the Internet and bad for consumers," said Frederick Hill, a Senate Commerce Committee aide, according to the Post.
Thune's team has been reaching out to Democrats and to tech companies to find out what they would want included in a GOP net neutrality bill.
"The chairmen have asked us to meet with a broad set of stakeholders, including the diverse Internet company community, to better understand their views on the potential for bipartisan open Internet legislation," said an invitation obtained by the Post, which was sent to tech firms on Tuesday.
The FCC is set to vote Thursday to regulate Internet services as a public good, applying controls similar to ones used on utilities. Cable companies and Internet service providers are expected to dispute the new rules in court.
Democrats, led by President Barack Obama and Silicon Valley firms, favor imposing FCC regulation that would prevent broadband companies from charging for faster delivery to transport content.
Those who support net neutrality say that the alternative would discriminate against poorer companies and news outlets that may not be able to afford to pay for faster delivery, and that freedom of expression itself would be in peril.
Opponents of the expected FCC decision, mainly Republicans, say that potentially heavy-handed Internet regulation imposed by the FCC will reduce the incentives for service providers to invest in upgrading the speed of Internet access.
They are also concerned that government regulation could open the door to taxation on web services.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.