Net neutrality didn't fare very well in Tuesday's elections:
Before Tuesday's midterm elections, there were 95 House and Senate candidates who pledged support for Net neutrality, a bill that would force Internet providers to not charge users more for certain kinds of Web content.
All of them lost -- and that could mean the contentious proposal may now be all but dead.
Obviously, these candidates didn't lose because of their support for net neutrality; they were doomed for other, less wonky reasons. Still, other Democrats are likely to over-interpret the results -- as they are wont to do -- and take this as a sign that they should oppose net neutrality, or at least avoid it as much as possible.
Of course, it's not as if net neutrality were faring well anyway. Prior to the election, legislation to maintain a "neutral" Internet -- where bandwidth is treated equally, regardless of content -- was virtually frozen in place; in September, Republicans stopped a compromise bill that would keep broadband providers from blocking legal content (though mobile providers were not included). Indeed, given this new House majority of telecom-friendly Republicans, odds are very slim for further legislation. With congressional authorization, the FCC could act, but that's incumbent on nonexistent Republican support. What's more, even small-scale attempts by the FCC to act on its current authority (in either direction) would be met by strong opposition, from either side of the aisle.
Simply put, we can expect the stalemate on net neutrality to continue indefinitely and join the other host of issues that won't be resolved in our dysfunctional government.
-- Jamelle Bouie
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