A US Senate committee has rejected a proposal to force broadband providers to offer rivals the same access speeds and quality of service as they give to their own products and those of their partners.
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The “net neutrality” debate has been a hot issue in the US in recent weeks, with smaller broadband providers and content providers demanding that equal treatment should be written into networks and telecoms legislation being considered by the Senate.
But a Senate committee's 11-11 vote on a net neutrality amendment means it will not now be added to a wide-ranging broadband bill.
The amendment would have prevented broadband providers such as AT&T and Comcast from charging extra for services based on the type of content transmitted by internet content companies.
Web founder Tim Berners-Lee had called for the Senate to back neutrality to guarantee users a freely accessible internet without speed or costs barriers.
With the bill lacking a net neutrality clause, some senators are threatening to block it.