Cantwell introduces bill to strengthen net-neutrality rules

It would ban paid prioritization of Internet traffic and would apply all of the regulations to wireless service. The FCC's rules contained a weaker set of restrictions for mobile services.

The bill would create a new provision under Title II of the Communications Act, cementing the FCC rules in an effort to insulate them from court challenges brought after the FCC instated rules without specific legislation.

In introducing her bill, Cantwell took a swipe at the phone companies.

“The reason a seemingly technical issue such as net neutrality has become such a politicized fight is that the financial stakes are so high," she said.  "If we let telecom oligarchs control access to the Internet, consumers will lose."

Cantwell made it clear that she does believe the FCC had the authority to create net-neutrality rules last month. Verizon and Metro PCS have already appealed the rules. 

Advocacy groups Free Press and Public Knowledge immediately praised Cantwell's measure. 

"Your legislation would firmly cement the democratic principles affirmed by an open Internet and ensure that the Internet remains the marketplace of ideas where no central authority, public or private, has the power to pick winners and losers," PK President Gigi Sohn said in a letter to Cantwell.

The legislation could face an uphill battle as House Republicans plan to abolish the rules Cantwell and Franken hope to strengthen.