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New bill would restore net neutrality pending FCC action

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A new pair of bills have been introduced to the Senate and House to protect Net Neutrality after a circuit court ruling struck down the FCC's previous rules earlier this month. A permanent solution will ultimately come from the FCC, which is still considering its next action, but the new House and Senate bills, led by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA), would maintain a Neutrality-based status quo in the meantime.

"as good a bill as you can possibly get."

The most important element of the bills may be the non-discrimination clauses, which prevent service providers from serving some network traffic faster than other traffic depending on its content. Newly appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has sent mixed messages on non-discrimination, but the new House bill supports the policy unequivocally. One senior hill staffer told The Verge that measure would "box Wheeler in on setting up a new system," effectively forcing the chairman to support non-discrimination or openly oppose his own party's house leadership.

The bill still may face difficulty passing Congress, but the staffer said the drafting made it "as good a bill as you can possibly get." Net neutrality group Public Knowledge has already applauded the bill, saying it "ensures that consumers and businesses are protected during this period of uncertainty between the Court's decision and the FCC's action in response to the court's remand."