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US Senate votes to restore and save Net Neutrality

17 May 2018, 03:05 | Melvin Schneider

FCC Chair Ajit Pai's Credit

FCC Chair Ajit Pai's

If a simple majority of the latter decide for it, the resolution will be sent to President Donald Trump, who can either sign it or veto it.

Still, Democrats are already using their messaging in campaign material.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said the internet thrived long before the Obama administration stepped in with rules in 2015, and he predicted that when the FCC repeal is in place, consumers won't notice a change in their service. "And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on June 11".

A democratic MA senator introduced an effort to preserve neutrality, and it passed the senate floor with a 52 to 47 vote.

But, for now, net neutrality lives. "A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price".

It's a last-ditch effort led by Democratic senators to take legislative action to overrule the Federal Communications Commission, which voted in December to repeal net neutrality rules.

All Senate Democrats and three Republicans, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John Kennedy, successfully brought the issue to the floor and voted to overturn it with a final tally of 52-47.

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The Net neutrality rules prohibit Internet service providers from selling faster delivery of certain data, slowing speeds for specific content and blocking or otherwise discriminating against any legal material. However, a similar vote looks unlikely in the Republican-dominated U.S. House. That might just happen - it's an election year and Republicans will be lobbied by net neutrality supporters.

The 52-47 vote, which saw three Republicans vote against their own side, used the Congressional Review Act - one of the checks and balances specifically created to fix problems caused by government agencies headed up by people who think they cool, but they not.

The regulations are strongly supported by liberals and online companies including Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google, and dozens of smaller Web-based companies. "We don't let water companies or phone companies discriminate against customers; we don't restrict access to interstate highways, saying you can ride on the highway, and you can't", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. Democrats think the fight to restore the rules could be a political victor during November's congressional midterm elections even if the effort is unsuccessful, as it will force Republicans to record a vote against reinstating the rules.

She says internet providers always tell her they won't throttle connections, even if there's no net neutrality.

A major objection about the Net neutrality rules was the FCC's decision to classify broadband as a more highly regulated utilitylike service under Title 2 of federal telecommunications law.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) denounced the measure as a grandstanding manoeuvre that gets in the way of a bipartisan net neutrality remedy.



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