Senate backs effort to restore net neutrality

Net neutrality vote FCC wolf_00000000

The three Republican Senators who voted in support of the CRA were Sens. The bill still needs to be passed in the House and signed by President Trump to become law.

FCC Chairman AJIT PAI, who led the charge to reverse the FCC's course and end net neutrality after his predecessor TOM WHEELER's actions to regulate ISPs, was predictably displeased with, and dismissive of, the Senate action, releasing a statement saying, "It's disappointing that Senate Democrats forced this resolution through by a narrow margin".

Though the vote on the measure has been expected for months, its outcome is uncertain. A majority, or 218 votes, would be needed there to force a vote.

But the measure has already overcome one hurdle.

The Senate voted on Wednesday in favor of keeping open-internet rules in a bid to overturn the Federal Communications Commission decision to repeal net neutrality rules, but the measure is unlikely to be approved by the House of Representatives or the White House, Reuters explained.

"This is our chance - our best chance - to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable for all Americans", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY. In a tweet, Sen. The FCC decision to repeal the regulations was supposed to go into effect on June 11.

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A consortium of tech companies from Etsy to IAC, which operates Tinder and OKCupid, have banded together to create a campaign called "Red Alert", which supports the congressional vote and other efforts to preserve net neutrality. While the name for the principle isn't that old, the basic idea predates the internet and has its roots in the telephone and telegraph networks and even older services. Edward Markey of MA, sought to stop the FCC's repeal of the Obama-era rules by using their authority under the Congressional Review Act to nullify the commission's vote last December.

Republicans in Washington largely support the FCC's policy change, arguing the net neutrality rules subjected internet service providers to burdensome regulations. In their place are requirements that companies disclose how they handle data flows. It also hands off to the Federal Trade Commission the job of ensuring providers abide by the terms they've disclosed and watching out for anticompetitive behavior.

In fact, Small Business Majority's scientific opinion polling found 56 percent of small business owners oppose the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, with almost 4 in 10 strongly opposing the repeal.

The battle over these rules were heated and partisan, the final FCC vote for repeal was 3-2, along party lines.

Meanwhile, as activists emphasized the importance of celebrating this crucial win given the tireless grassroots effort that produced it, open internet advocates and pro-net neutrality lawmakers noted that the same level of grassroots pressure-and likely even more-will be necessary to carry the resolution through the House of Representatives.

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