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House GOP Appropriators Take Aim At Net Neutrality


The rules, adopted in December, would prevent telecommunications network operators from discriminating against applications and online traffic they don't approve of.

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday cleared its fiscal 2012 appropriations bill for financial services and general government services. It includes language from a prior, failed legislative effort in February that specifically withheld funding for any net neutrality enforcement efforts at the Federal Communications Commission.

House appropriators allocated $319 million overall to the FCC -- a decrease of almost $17 million from 2010, and $40 million below the president's request.

Gigi Sohn, co-founder and president of the advocacy groupPublic Knowledge, said that the effort is vestigial, and that she hopes Republicans eventually drop it.

"Even much of the telecommunications industry, including AT&T and the cable industry, has accepted the rather weak rules the Commission approved," she said in a press statement. "That the Committee majority would reopen this debate through back-door legislative tactics only adds insult to the injury of the attack on the fundamental concept of an equal-opportunity Internet."

A House appropriations subcommittee is scheduled to debate the bill in its entirety on Thursday.