Senate Democrats push to reinstate 'net neutrality' rules

18 May 2018, 09:33 | Andres Norman

The US Senate votes in favour of restoring the FCC's net-neutrality rules

CRITICAL’ Sen. Edward J. Markey, left hugs House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi center after the Senate passed a resolution yesterday to reverse the FCC decision to end net neutrality

All 49 Democrat senators voted in favour, joined by three Republican senators. Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and his majority caucus are rigidly pro-corporate; they will erect every possible roadblock.

Last December, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to repeal the net neutrality regulations.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of NY thinks otherwise, saying in an interview that the vote reflects the people's choice and should not be undermined.

Net neutrality rules, enacted under fomer President Barack Obama, prevented internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from forcing customers to pay extra to access certain websites, or slowing down traffic speeds to certain websites. There is no popular support for the change.

"It's typical of how Republicans have used their total control of Washington: Increase costs on Americans who actually work for a living while giving more breaks to the rich, well-connected special interests they care about".

That could turn out to be the worst bet of 2018.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he was disappointed by the Senate vote.

Murphy tweeted "big step forward today on #NetNeutrality - the internet should remain free and open to all".

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There has been a ton of public support for Net Neutrality over the past year, making it a hard issue for politicians to ignore.

Though they voted differently, Sullivan and Murkowski had a similar message - "because there have been recent dramatic swings from the FCC on the issue, it is critical we develop a bipartisan legislative solution", Sullivan said. And Democratic congressional leaders are well aware that those voters could tip vital local, state and national races this fall.

Later, Rep. Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat who represents Silicon Valley, said she was happy by the result in the Senate with the legislation. "Let's treat the internet like the public good that it is". "This is a huge momentum creator, especially with three Republican votes".

The repeal granted internet service providers (ISPs) the ability to push consumers towards their content and products while potentially slowing down or eliminating access to their competitors' sites.

The Trump campaign had net neutrality on its platform through the election process and made repealing it one of the only campaign promises they have kept.

So does the Future of Music Coalition, a longtime net neutrality supporter.

"S.J. Res. 52 would re-impose regulatory burdens on Alaska's small, rural telecommunications companies, increase regulatory uncertainty and decrease much needed investment in broadband infrastructure - particularly in rural Alaska - which is already lagging behind the rest of the country", Sullivan said in a statement. The Senate stood on the side of free speech, civic engagement, equal opportunity, and innovation. But it all depends on whether Congress will be willing to piss off a few of their wealthy donors in order to craft a law that benefits the American people.



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