Fresh off the gutting of net neutrality rules by the Federal Communications Commission, Republicans in Congress are working on a bill that would allow internet providers to create fast lanes, according to a source that has seen a synopsis of the bill.

The FCC previously had strong net neutrality regulations put in place under the Barack Obama administration. Under the Donald Trump administration, the FCC voted on Thursday to undo those rules and effectively remove the FCC from regulating internet providers.

The bill means the FCC would be required to enforce some elements of net neutrality. Under the new bill, internet providers would not be able to block websites or throttle internet speeds, which are the most basic rules that open internet supporters advocate for.

It would, however, leave the door open for internet providers to begin segmenting their networks and begin charging content providers like Google, Facebook, and other companies for better access to users.

Net neutrality advocates have warned that allowing internet providers to manipulate their networks would effectively destroy the internet, hurting entrepreneurs and passing on higher costs to consumers.

The bill is being championed by Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who has previously introduced net neutrality-related legislation. She gave her first interview on the bill to, claiming that the bill will "settle the net neutrality debate" and "codify the rules of a free and open internet."

It will also define "reasonable network management practices," a term that is used to reference how internet providers are allowed to manipulate their network so that internet traffic flows efficiently.

Under the bill, the FCC would enforce these rules but also be explicitly prevented from stopping internet providers from creating fast lanes. The Federal Trade Commission is currently tasked with overseeing those kinds of business dealings and would continue to do so under the bill.

More broadly, if the legislation passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, it would put into law the changes recently made by the FCC. Those changes would be difficult to undo in the future.

Source: Mashable