Battle for Net Neutrality Renewed in Senate

18 May, 2018, 09:32 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • US Senate overturns Pai's FCC net neutrality weed-whacker

"The American public understands how important these protections are to their lives and the future of the internet", Nelson said on the senate floor before the vote.

Wednesday's Senate vote was a blow to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican congressional leaders.

The 52 to 47 vote margin in the Senate was larger than expected with three Republicans - John Kennedy, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins - voting with 47 Democrats and two independents to reverse the Trump administration's action.

Although the FCC exempted Internet service providers from many aspects of that tougher oversight, such as rate regulation, opponents of the rules said the decision opened the door to onerous federal regulation.

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It was just a week ago that the FCC said it would begin rolling back Obama-era regulations on June 11.

And in a dubious attempt to tie questions about net neutrality to the privacy practices of companies like Facebook and Google, the lobbying groups argued that the Senate's restoration measure "fails to protect consumer privacy, by doing nothing to address the practices of edge providers, such as search engines and social media platforms".

For Democrats, net neutrality is a segment of three aspects, internet access, gun control and marijuana legalization; they are hankering on to lure young voters to absorb in the midterm elections. He said that instead lawmakers should write legislation "that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation".

Because the government making a legal commitment to keep the internet open and free, and ensuring that the cable companies treat every kind of internet user the same, was probably a good thing.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) blasted FCC chairman Ajit Pai for changing the rules. "They know they won't ultimately be successful, but they want to campaign on their desire to add new regulations to the internet". No doubt she feels it's time for Congress to step in and make some definitive ruling on the net-neutrality issue. Net neutrality still faces a long, uphill battle toward restoration. "We also are challenging the FCC's 2017 decision in the courts", Karr said.

With the high-profile Senate vote raising the ante on the issue, a key Democratic supporter of net neutrality, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz says: "There is nowhere to hide, and there are no excuses". We pay our ISPs plenty of money for internet access, they shouldn't have the ability to block or throttle any application or website we choose to use or visit.

"The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses".

Yesterday (16 May) was another victory for those who wish to retain net neutrality and avoid a future where the internet is multi-tiered and stacked against those who can not afford the fastest connections.

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