An amendment to a bill that would have guaranteed that telecoms companies could not charge websites extra for faster downloading has been thrown out by the US Congress.
A Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce subcommittee dismissed the suggested $500,000 fines for internet providers which charge for faster web access to sites.
The subcommittee said instead that the Federal Communications Commission will rule on the matter.
The vote came after heavy lobbying by telecoms firms that want to start implementing a system to charge websites for faster access by internet users.
"We have an opportunity to increase competition for cable services and to unleash a race for who can supply the fastest, most sophisticated broadband connections that will provide video, voice and data services," said US Representative Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee. "This race will only benefit consumers."
After a day of debate, the committee voted 27-4 in favour of approving the final bill, minus the net neutrality amendment (PDF download), sending it onward to full committee consideration later in the year.
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