Congressional Democrats unveiled a bill on Wednesday to reinstate net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission under U.S. President Donald Trump.
Through the bill, dubbed the “Save the Internet Act,” Democrats are trying to reverse the FCC’s December 2017 order repealing landmark rules approved in 2015 that barred internet providers from blocking or slowing content or offering paid “fast lanes.”
“It is a fight that we can win,” said Senator Ed Markey, a bill sponsor, at a Capitol Hill news conference. “We are on the right side of history. We will not give up.”
He said the bill will protect consumers from higher prices, blocked websites or slower internet speeds.
The net neutrality rules had banned cable, wireless and other broadband providers from blocking or slowing down websites and apps of their choosing, or charging Netflix and other video services extra to reach viewers faster.
The reversal of net neutrality rules was a win for internet providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Communications, but opposed by content and social media companies like Facebook, Amazon.com and Alphabet.
Markey said that a companion bill will be introduced in the House of Representatives on Friday. Democrats say they expect the House will vote on the bill in the next few months.
The bill will face a tough time becoming law, despite Democrats' control of the House. But the effort could give Democrats political points on consumer protections that a Trump-appointed regulator repeal ed in the name of reducing regulation.
The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted in May 2018 to reinstate the rules, but the House did not take up the issue before Congress adjourned last year.
A U.S. federal appeals court last month held oral arguments in a legal challenge to the FCC’s decision. That court upheld the Obama internet rules in 2016.
California and a handful of other states have passed their own laws seeking to guarantee net neutrality.