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Politics & Government

Essential Pittsburgh: What's Next for Net Neutrality?

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The notion of regulating the Internet using public utility laws has been under consideration for the past year. Now that net neutrality rules have been adopted by U.S. regulators, how will this long-running battle play out in Congress and the courts? As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) explains how the proposed rules might benefit citizens and the Internet at large. 

Also today, Governor Wolf's budget proposal, and a delegation from PA travels to D.C. to convince senators and congressmen to renew the Export-Import Bank charter.

“It’s really not intented to protect the Googles and the Facebooks of the world. It’s really intended to protect the next big thing.” - Representative Doyle

Net Neutrality Rules (27:50)

Doyle offered a rundown of the major provisions in the net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC:

1.) No blocking – ISPs can’t block a consumer’s access to content on the web, and the can’t block the content provider’s access to the consumer.

2.) No throttling – Sometimes ISPs want to slow down the consumer’s access to content. This says they can’t do that.

3.) No paid prioritization – ISPs can’t charge a web service for faster delivery of their content on the ISPs network.

4.) Transparency provisions – Comcast and others have to disclose how they come about their pricing, which is intended to make ISPs fully disclose what their terms of service are.

5.) Privacy protections – Stops cases like one in Texas, where AT&T wanted to charge $29 more per month to prevent them from keeping track of your web browsing history.

Comedian John Oliver, host of the show "Last Week Tonight" and longtime supporter of net neutrality, offered this reaction to last week's decision.

Budget Address Reaction (0:00)

Governor Tom Wolf has proposed more than $4 billion in higher taxes on income, sales and natural gas drilling to support new spending on schools, and to cut property taxes as part of an effort to overhaul the way public education is funded. Wolf, a Democrat, made his first budget address yesterday. State Senator Jim Brewster shares his reaction from Harrisburg. 

Export - Import Bank Charter (18:50)

A number of small business leaders from across the nation have converged on Washington last week. Among them was a delegation from Pennsylvania.  They met with congressman and senators, in hopes of convincing them to renew the charter of the Export – Import Bank which expires in June. One of the people taking part was Jesse Rothschild, Business Development Manager at Penn United Technologies in Butler County. 

To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here