U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) has put himself at the front of the “net neutrality” debate with his sponsorship of a bill to block the Federal Communications Commission from regulating the Internet as a telecommunications utility.
The bill introduced May 28 amends the Communications Act of 1934 to limit the authority of the FCC over providers of broadband Internet access service. Mr. Latta is the sole sponsor.
He said his aim is to keep the Internet free of excessive government regulation.
He said classifying the Web as telecommunications under FCC regulation would “heap 80 years of regulatory baggage on broadband providers, restricting their flexibility to innovate and placing them at the mercy of a government agency.”
Critics, including his opponent in the Nov. 5 election for the 5th Congressional District, Robert Fry, say the bill and other initiatives like it are designed to let big-spending telecommunications and cable companies control the Internet and decide which Web sites get moved on the fast track.
Mr. Fry of Toledo said, “Bob Latta supports the idea of a two-tiered Internet — allowing for carriers to make special deals with Web sites they like, and decide who is banished to slow and congested service.”