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Senator Edward Markey files ‘net neutrality’ bill

Bill aims to prevent Internet service providers from granting priority access to big firms

Senator Edward Markey.

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff/File

Senator Edward Markey.

WASHINGTON -- Senator Edward J. Markey filed a bill Monday to restore so-called “net neutrality” to the Internet following a court ruling last month that opened the door for service providers to control content and grant priority access to bigger players.

Markey has been a long-time proponent of open access, introducing a net neutrality bill in 2009.

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The Federal Communications Commission adopted similar rules in 2010, requiring service providers to treat all content equally. But those rules were struck down, at least temporarily, by the US District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Markey and other proponents of open Internet argue that it promotes innovation from smaller firms, keeps prices down, and prevents censorship of unpopular or unprofitable ideas. Some telecom companies have argued that neutrality rules have prevented them from offering better and cheaper service for the most popular Internet sites. Opponents have also argued that they are an undue regulation on business.

Markey’s bill would keep the open Internet rule until the FCC adopts new rules that would pass legal muster. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said he supports net neutrality as has President Obama.

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.
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