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US Senate votes to overturn FCC's repeal of net neutrality protections

17 May, 2018, 07:02 | Author: Kristi Dunn
  • Senator Hassan speaks with Stonyfield employees about the negative impact that repealing net neutrality would have on rural businesses

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., voted against the measure and called for a "light regulatory touch" to help small companies compete.

Wednesday's vote stopped the order from going into effect on June 11, the repeals formal start date. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were the three Republican Senators who voted to keep the rules.

However, while this is a victory for net neutrality advocates, it does not represent the end of the story.

While net neutrality advocates celebrated the result, the unfortunate truth is that the vote was largely a waste of time, taking up hours of the Senate's time to achieve a result that will nearly certainly been defeated in the House of Representatives. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate.

"House Republicans don't have to choose the same path that the vast majority of Republicans in the Senate chose", Schumer said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The net neutrality regulations, imposed on broadband companies such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast in 2015, banned the industry from blocking or slowing down websites. Telecommunications companies oppose the regulations.

Fox Business and One American News Network, a decidedly pro-Trump outlet known for pushing conspiracy theories, aired full reports of the net neutrality vote.

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That means Republican politicians would likely need to break ranks for Democrats to score a win there.

"We will take a stand to protect our online economy or say goodbye to internet as we know it", said Senator Ed Markey.

However, net-neutrality supporters are also seeking to overturn the FCC's action in federal courts and pushing measures that would offer net-neutrality protections within a state's borders.

If you want to see the effort go any further, though, it's time to start calling your representatives in the House. "This resolution takes us in the wrong direction, and we should reject it". First, it reverses the categorization of ISPs as Title II common carriers, whereby, in theory, the government can regulate broadband prices.

A poll from Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland last December showed bipartisan support for the 2015 net neutrality rules at 83 percent.

Bi-partisan legislation to secure the precepts of Net Neutrality is feasible, but instead the Democrats prefer to showboat with the CRA. Thune and other Republican lawmakers have proposed their own net neutrality legislation. And to get this measure passed in the House, are asking constituents to contact their representatives and make their voices heard on this matter.

This issue doesn't cut along clean party lines, said Steven Kull, who runs the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland and has studied public attitudes on net neutrality.



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