Published: Fri, May 11, 2018
Science | By

US Senate to Vote to Reinstate Internet Neutrality

US Senate to Vote to Reinstate Internet Neutrality

Sen. Brian Schantz (D-Hawaii) said the CRA vote will get "every member of the Senate on the record" about their stance on net neutrality.

The misguided decision to apply regulations created in 1934 for voice telephone services to the internet-adopted on a party-line vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015-has, according to the FCC, slowed investment, preventing the improvement and expansion of services to the 39 million Americans living in rural parts of the country.

A year ago the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed net neutrality rules for Internet providers.

All 49 Democrats in the chamber have thrown their support behind a measure that would force a vote on something known as a Congressional Review Act resolution. The audio is below. They believe they have to votes to pass the resolution after receiving backing from two independents and Republican Sen. In addition, President Trump appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai - who led the way to overturning net neutrality rules - to his position. That vote repealed the 2015 Open Internet Rules, which were enacted under President Obama after years of wrangling over the issue.

Democrats said that was a mistake and are trying to take advantage of what they said is net neutrality's broad public support to make Republicans pay at the polls in November's midterm elections.

"This is a moment of truth: There's no more pretending to be for Net Neutrality or proposing fake compromises". Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), to reverse the FCC's decision are expected to reach a vote by the middle of next week.

Almost two dozen attorneys general from primarily Democratic states have sued the FCC for its decision, and a handful of Democratic governors want to require internet service providers to comply with the vacated federal rules as a condition of doing business with their state's government.

Listen to GeekWire's interview with Cantwell, a vocal advocate for net neutrality, below.

Don't be surprised if, during your travels on the web today, you are greeted by a "Red Alert" in support of net neutrality.

"Internet access is a utility - just like water and electricity", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said at the time.

In February, a coalition of 22 state attorneys general refiled legal challenges meant to block the repeal of net neutrality.

We hope Congress takes this research among voters into account as they consider both the CRA and the future of the internet. Without net neutrality, ISPs can throttle content from competitors, charge extra to allow content to pass through to customers, and block content as they please.

Trump has been largely mum on net neutrality, only calling it by name in a single tweet from 2014 when he compared it to a "fairness doctrine".

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