House Republicans challenge FCC's net neutrality rules

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to withhold funding for the FCC's net neutrality rules, an action that places another obstacle in front of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's push to create "rules of the road" for Internet traffic.

Republican lawmakers, who control the House, added the legislation into a spending bill that will fund the federal government through the rest of this fiscal year. The legislation now heads to the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats who largely favor net neutrality rules.

The FCC  passed net neutrality rules by a 3-2 vote in December, to the dismay of large telcos like AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ). The rules essentially prevent carriers from blocking lawful Internet traffic, though they give wireless operators a wide berth to manage and control the flow of traffic over bandwidth-constrained mobile networks. Operators have generally argued that such oversight is unnecessary.

Shortly after the FCC issued its ruling, Verizon filed suit against the action by arguing the agency doesn't have the legal authority to implement the rules. Regional wireless operator MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) also has filed a lawsuit against the FCC over the topic.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)

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