The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is about to enact a net neutrality bill that could make internet service providers (ISPs) pay to prioritize certain websites, according to a statement by Republican members of Congress.
“It is imperative that the FCC fully comply with the court orders and enact legislation ensuring that the open internet remains a level playing field for all Americans,” the statement said.
The FCC’s plan, titled “Restoring Internet Freedom to Protect Consumers,” would require ISPs to give users the option to opt-out of certain services in exchange for paid prioritization.
“ISPs should not be able to selectively block or prioritize websites, but the FCC will take action to address this issue,” the FCC said.
“This is an important issue for consumers and businesses across the country, and I encourage the FCC to continue its work.”
The FCC passed its landmark net neutrality ruling in 2015, which allowed internet service companies to offer faster and more affordable internet access for all.
The agency also recently adopted rules to regulate internet companies like Netflix, Facebook and Amazon.
In a statement, the Republican leadership of the House of Representatives, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer all said the FCC’s move to reclassify internet providers as common carriers “will hurt American families and businesses.”
The new net neutrality rules, which were passed in May, require internet service to treat all traffic equally, and allow companies to use a range of techniques to determine what content and services customers are willing to pay for.
Republicans also argue that reclassifying internet service as common carrier will encourage ISPs to charge more to customers for fast, low-bandwidth connections, which could lead to slower speeds and lower quality service.
The House GOP statement was signed by Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
The statement was also released by Representative Peter King, a Republican from New York.
“Congress should stop blocking net neutrality,” Meadows said.