Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Senate Democrats push for resolution to reinstate 'net neutrality' rules

Senate Democrats push for resolution to reinstate 'net neutrality' rules

The ISPs say they'll self-regulate, but don't hold your breath.

The Senate resolution - led by Sen. That's a more hard ask, since Democrats only hold 193 seats there.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that the resolution was a "bizarre exercise" that isn't "going anywhere".

Ars Technica reports that three Republican senators voted along with Democrats today to support the rules.

Some Vermont-based internet service providers do not anticipate changing their operations at all once the new set of rules takes effect.

All 47 Democrats voted to keep the rules in place.

The resolution has drawn the support of half of all senators, but it needs a majority vote to pass. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said in a speech before the vote. The rub for those Senators celebrating and others who are happy that the Senate wants to restore net neutrality is that the bill still must receive approval from the U.S. House and then get approval from President Donald Trump, neither of which is likely to happen. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate. The House won't pass it and Trump would veto it, Thune said.

Pai argued that the Obama-era commission was too heavy handed with its regulation and stifled small internet service providers.

"The grandparents, the gamers, the gearheads, the geeks, the GIF-makers, the Generations X, Y, and Z. This movement to save net neutrality is made up of every walk of American life", he 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 because it will force Republicans to vote against reinstating the rules.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., who voted in favor of Wednesday's resolution, said she has heard from more than 5,500 North Dakotans anxious about web access.

Markey said that vote was the most important that the Senate had taken on the internet. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who is leading the CRA effort, said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning.

The 2015 rules were meant to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to Web content and bar broadband service providers from favoring their own material or others'.

A path forward for the resolution in the House is unclear.

If you're dying to watch some exciting Congressional action, you're in luck: The vote is being broadcast live on C-SPAN here. "This resolution takes us in the wrong direction, and we should reject it". The law would restore parts of the Obama-era rules, but it would not categorize broadband providers as common-carrier providers that need to follow utility-style rules.

"When internet service providers say they support [net neutrality, ] they often frame it as support for some [of its] principles, but conspicuously leave out [details like] paid prioritization which would allow them to charge more", Trendacosta said. Edward Markey of MA, sought to stop the FCC's repeal of the Obama-era rules by using their authority under the Congressional Review Act to nullify the commission's vote last December.

Bi-partisan legislation to secure the precepts of Net Neutrality is feasible, but instead the Democrats prefer to showboat with the CRA.

By any legitimate measure, the Obama Administration's legal approach to Net Neutrality was an unmitigated disaster.

"Today's vote is a sign that the fight for internet freedom is far from over", Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Commissioner and supporter of net neutrality, said in a statement.

Still, it is unclear what fate may await the measure in the House.

"This vote was necessary to undo the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) December 2017 decision to end net neutrality protections". But net neutrality regulations are much more widely opposed by Republicans.

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