On Tuesday, a partisan wrangling
over net neutrality heated up with Democrats pledging a fight over a broadband
bill they saw will mean extra fees and content restrictions on the internet.
A committee vote is expected Wednesday
on a Republican-backed proposal called the Communications Opportunity,
Promotion and Enhancement Act, or COPE Act. Democrats say the bill's portions
dealing with Net neutrality don't go far enough to restrict telecommunications companies
for levying fees for faster access.
The concept of Net neutrality,
also known as network neutrality, says that network operators should not be
allowed to charge content providers extra for the privilege of faster delivery
or other preferential treatment.
Republicans defended the measure,
saying it was a bad idea to give the Federal Communications Commission
expansive powers to regulate the Internet and companies' business models. For
one thing, there's still no consistent definition of Net neutrality from
industry representatives, said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican.
"The best approach on this is caution, because if we legislate
incorrectly, there will be unintended consequences," she said.
The current version of the
Republican-backed bill included some Net neutrality language, but critics say
it's not regulatory enough.
News source: CNET News.com