US Senate passes resolution to overturn FCC net neutrality reform

17 May, 2018, 12:33 | Author: Wade Massey
  • The US Senate votes in favour of restoring the FCC's net-neutrality rules

"This is our chance, our best chance, to make sure the Internet stays accessible and affordable for all Americans", he said as the debate began.

But most Republicans opposed the effort, saying the regulations were potentially too onerous and that Democrats were trying to use the issue for partisan gains in November. "Even then, any such resolution would also need to bear the signature of President Trump, so we can safely say this is the beginning of the end for a free and open Internet". John Boozman, R-Ark., said in a written statement.

It has been a insane year for Net Neutrality. Another risk of throwing out net neutrality protections is that consumers could face the Death of Nickels and Dimes as charge add-ons to stream video, game or access social media, experts warn.

The US Senate has voted in favor of net neutrality by approving a Congressional Review Act resolution that would undo the Federal Communications Commission's December decision to dismantle the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Critics, including the Trump administration, said overregulation was stifling innovation, and they backed the FCC's move, which is still set to take effect next month.

47 of the Senate Republicans voted to keep FCC's decision in place. They were joined by the two independents who usually vote with them, Sens.

While Collins' support had been public leading up to the vote, Murkowski's and Kennedy's "yes" votes came as a surprise to some. They were the focus of heavy lobbying by Net neutrality supporters in recent days. The Internet was free and open before 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure from the White House and imposed utility-style regulation on the Internet. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate.

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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.

The regulations are strongly supported by liberals and online companies including Amazon, Netflix, Facebook and Google, and dozens of smaller Web-based companies. Congressman Mike Doyle said he would start a discharge petition, a measure that if signed by the majority of House members, requires a piece of legislation to be put to a vote.

Following the Senate's vote, the question of whether net neutrality should be saved will be posed to the US House of Representatives. "We shouldn't do that with the internet either".

Before the vote, Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, urged fellow senators to disregard the "armies of lobbyists marching the halls of Congress on behalf of big internet service providers".

"I think people realize how critical net neutrality is to consumers, to young companies", Markey said.

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.

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