Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Senate Democrats get votes to advance Net neutrality save

Senate Democrats get votes to advance Net neutrality save

It has been just over five months since the FCC in the USA voted to dismantle Obama-era net neutrality rules, with three out of five commissioners involved choosing to end the regulation.

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

Democrats used a law that allows Congress to reverse regulatory actions by a simple majority vote but it is not clear if the US House of Representatives will vote at all on the measure, while the White House has said it opposed repealing the December FCC order. In a statement sent around Wednesday evening, the DSCC wrote that, "Today Democrats had to demand a vote to protect free and open internet, another reminder of how far Republicans will go to make life more expensive for Americans". Now, Net Neutrality activists have to collect signatures from a full majority of House members.

"I voted to hopefully get beyond the politics on this, which is the seesaw back and forth between Republican FCC and a Democratic FCC that doesn't lend any level of certainty to the process", she told reporters. "We shouldn't do that with the internet either". Net Neutrality was led by the Obama administration that ensured equal and fair treatment for web content.

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He and other supporters of the rules argue that they will prevent AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and other Internet service providers from acting as gatekeepers for Americans' online access.

Republican Senator John Thune, who chairs the Commerce Committee, said "the fact of the matter is nothing is going to change" after the new rules take effect - and will not prod people to vote. 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. Fortunately, it looks like we are finally seeing some political pushback on this, as the US Senate voted to repeal the FCC's ruling last night.

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". Republicans say the fears about tiered internet access are unfounded and are focused on increasing competition and consumer choice.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaks during a news conference on a petition to force a vote on net neutrality on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Also pictured are Sen. In January of this year, 22 attorneys general across the country commenced legal action against the FCC's decision. 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. In Spotify's pre-IPO filing in February, the company said laws limiting "internet neutrality" could 'decrease user demand for our service and increase our cost of doing business'.

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