Congressional Democrats today introduced legislation that would require the Federal Communications Commission to ban Internet “fast lanes,” paid prioritization deals in which Web services could pay for priority access to Internet users.
The “Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act” would require the commission to issue regulations that “prohibit a broadband provider from entering into an agreement with an edge provider under which the broadband provider agrees, for consideration, in transmitting network traffic over the broadband Internet access service of an end user, to give preferential treatment or priority to the traffic of such edge provider over the traffic of other edge providers.”

It would also prohibit Internet service providers from giving priority to their own “content, applications, services, or devices,” or those offered by affiliates. The bill has an exception “to address the needs of emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities.” The bill only targets last-mile Internet traffic, so it would not affect paid peering agreements such as the ones Netflix signed with Comcast and Verizon.
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