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US Senate saves net neutrality - for now

17 May, 2018, 07:05 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Senate Democrats push to block net neutrality repeal using Congressional Review Act

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that the resolution was a "bizarre exercise" that isn't "going anywhere".

The repeal takes effect June 11.

The final vote is expected to take place around 3 p.m. ET. All Democrats and Independents voted for it, and all but three Republicans voted against it.

"If an ISP chooses to change its terms of service to not prohibit blocking or throttling, etc., customers will be in trouble", she said.

Opponents of net neutrality describe the policy as overly restrictive, and regularly point out that the Internet "grew up" without such rules in place. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate.

Net neutrality prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps.

The regulations are strongly supported by liberals and online companies including Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google and dozens of smaller web-based companies.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the vote disappointing but added that "ultimately, I'm confident that their effort to reinstate heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet will fail".

The battle over net neutrality isn't over yet.

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

"Our constituents have a right to know where we stand on preserving open access to the internet". Ed Markey, D-Mass., the leader of the Senate effort.

Senators were able to force a vote on net neutrality today through the Congressional Review Act (CRA). "They do not want to have their websites blocked or internet accessed slowed. This resolution takes us in the wrong direction, and we should reject it". Tech companies and consumers decried the commission's action as a major reshaping of the internet, because it would allow broadband providers to create fast lanes for websites that pay to make sure their content gets priority delivery. Sen. "Our approach will help promote digital opportunity-that is, making high-speed Internet access available to every single American so that they can be participants in, rather than spectators of, our digital economy". Special thanks to Senator Markey, Senator Schumer and others for their leadership on this important resolution to undo the FCC's net neutrality repeal.

"Why aren't we debating a bipartisan bill instead of a partisan resolution?" he asked. The strategy assumes that net neutrality can top or at least compete with other hot-button issues including jobs, trade and immigration.

"Net neutrality is the free speech issue of our time", said Sen.

In December, a University of Maryland poll found that 83 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Republicans, were opposed to ending net neutrality.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., was among the Republicans who voted with Democrats on the privacy regulations.



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