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Top Democrats unveil bill to restore 'net neutrality' rules

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(Copyright 2017 CNN)

Top Democrats in the House and Senate are announcing a new bill to restore the 2015 “net neutrality” rules that Trump-era regulators repealed.

The 2015 Federal Communications Commission regulation barred internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast from playing favorites with websites and apps. A Republican-controlled FCC overturned the rules in 2017. Tech companies and nearly two dozen states then sued the FCC ; that case is still ongoing.

Michigan's U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are co-sponsors of the Senate bill. 

“Access to the internet is not a luxury, it is a necessity,” said Senator Stabenow. “People in Michigan depend on reliable, high-speed internet to run their businesses, get an education, and succeed in their daily lives.” 

“Access to an open internet is crucial for entrepreneurs, small business-owners, students and families across Michigan,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to support legislation to restore net neutrality protections, which will reinstate rules of the road that will keep the internet, free, open and competitive.”

If the bill passed the Democratic-controlled House, it would face a tough challenge in the Senate, where Republicans have the majority. The White House also supported the repeal of the net neutrality rules in 2017.

Still, having the bill in play could highlight net neutrality as an issue as the 2020 campaigns get going.