With the 116th Congress sworn in, the new House majority has a unique opportunity to make good on a campaign promise and lock in permanent protections for net neutrality. As Doug Brake writes for Morning Consult, Democrats should draft a bill that sets in stone strong net neutrality prohibitions on blocking and throttling. This would make good on a campaign promise and permanently preclude the parade of horribles net neutrality activists warn are just around the corner.
Republicans should take this deal. Republicans argue that ISP blocking and throttling to shakedown competitors or squash free speech isn’t a realistic threat, but why not ban it anyway? And even though there are good arguments that the technical limitations of the Internet justify some wiggle room on prioritization, that relatively minor issue should not stand in the way of establishing stable protections for future online commerce and speech. Republicans should seek common ground on actual open Internet issues to head off the return of Title II and its expansive regulatory power over the Internet if a Democrat wins the White House in 2020.
Both parties have the opportunity to achieve a real victory by locking in net neutrality protections and expanding infrastructure spending for broadband deployment, even in the midst of divided government and tribal partisanship.