FCC sends net neutrality rules to White House

The Federal Communications Commission sent its semi-final draft of net neutrality rules to the White House for approval Thursday, bringing the controversial Internet rules one step closer to enforcement.

The FCC sent its proposed rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget, where the OMB will gather data from internet service providers on their networks and performance before making recommendations on the rules. (Top Senate Republicans call for more transparency in debt limit negotiations)

Full approval of the FCC’s proposal is still likely a few months away. Besides OMB review, the rules still must go through several other steps, including public comment period, before they become official.

Net neutrality would prohibit Internet service providers from limiting access to their consumers, both in terms of bandwidth and content. Proponents say it would prevent providers from creating a tiered Internet or intentionally slowing down service for lower-paying consumers. Critics say net neutrality isn’t necessary and, even if it was, free-market competition would fix the problem anyways.

Some Republicans are trying to stop the FCC from enforcing net neutrality, but their efforts appear to have little chance of success. The president has said he will veto any such attempts.

But even then, it’s highly expected that many companies will sue the FCC to try and overturn the rules.