Proposed legislation may prohibit FCC from allowing ISPs to sell preferred Internet speeds to content companies

On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Rep. Doris Matsui of California introduced a bill - 'The Online Consumer and Consumer Choice Act' - in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Under the proposed legislation, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC)will be required to prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) - like Verizon and Time Warner - from signing deals with Netflix and other content providersto provide faster and more reliable traffic to them.

In other words, the proposed 'The Online Consumer and Consumer Choice Act' will likely prohibit the FCC from allowing ISPs to sell preferred Internet speeds to content providers. The legislation will essentially ensure that no such deals are allowed which slowing down the Internet access for consumers.

The introduction of the bill comes at a time when the FCC is accepting public comment - till September 10 - on its proposed open Internet rules, which can potentially pave the way for deals between ISPs and content providers for preferred Internet speeds.

With the proposed legislation calling for an outright ban on 'paid prioritization' agreements between ISPs and content providers, Leahy said: "Americans want an Internet that is a platform for free expression and innovation, where the best ideas and services can reach consumers based on merit rather than based on a financial relationship with a broadband provider."

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