Broadband and wireless companies contributed $81,500 to members of a key House subcommittee after the Federal Communication Commission in December approved “network neutrality” rules requiring providers to treat all Internet content equally, according to American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop.
Nearly two months later, that panel – the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s communications and technology subcommittee – passed a resolution of disapproval of the FCC’s pro-consumer rules. Net neutrality rules block telecommunications companies from charging a higher fee to move certain content faster on the Internet or discriminating against high-bandwidth video sites.
Of the broadband and wireless industry’s $81,500 in contributions to the subcommittee since December, more than half went to three Republicans who backed the anti-network neutrality resolution, the workshop reported. Greg Walden of Oregon, chairman of the subcommittee, received the most, at $19,500, followed by Lee Terry of Nebraska at $16,000.
Fred Upton of Michigan ranked third with $11,000. Upton is chairman of the full House Energy and Commerce Committee, which also approved the resolution.
However, even if the measure is approved by the full House, it faces opposition in the Democratic-led Senate and a veto threat from the Obama administration.
Since 2009, large U.S. broadband and wireless companies have donated nearly $1.3 million to members of the subcommittee, the workshop found.