Online Broadband Guide
Online Broadband Guide


Senate Votes to Halt the Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules

Senate Votes to Halt the Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules

The U.S. Senate has the votes to advance a bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission decision in December to repeal landmark 2015 net neutrality rules. If successful, the legislative gambit could restore the agency's regulations and hand a victory to tech companies, activists and consumer advocacy groups. Voters may know soon enough: The Obama-era net neutrality rules expire June 11. And the high-profile vote could shine a spotlight on lawmakers running for reelection during a tough midterm season. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who runs the Senate GOP's 2018 campaign operation and voted against the resolution.

Senate supporters of the FCC rules put forward the legislation under the Congressional Review Act, a law that permits Congress to revisit - and reject - decisions by administrative agencies within a certain window of their approval.

Kamala Harris, a Democratic Senator from California, tweeted, "Today's vote on #Net Neutrality is one of the most impactful votes the U.S. Senate has ever taken on the future of the internet". Alaska's Lisa Murowski, Louisiana's John Kennedy, and Maine's Susan Collins supported to bring the vote to 52-47. "A vote against this resolution will be a vote to protect large corporations and special interests, leaving the American public to pay the price".

"I don't know how that animates people to vote if their Netflix is working", he told Reuters. "If you don't trust your cable company, you will". If the measure passes the House, it will go to the President, who can veto it if he so chooses.

"This is our chance, our best chance to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable to all Americans", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y). "Speaker Ryan should listen". It has drawn far less support in the House of Representatives, and Trump is unlikely to sign a resolution that would effectively rebuke his FCC chairman. The net neutrality rules prohibited internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or discriminating against content online.

Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led the vote to dismantle net neutrality rules. About 40 top executives from MA companies including Zipcar, Carbonite, MathWorks, and Rapid7 signed a letter this month supporting Markey's effort to preserve what they call "a free and open Internet".

The five-member FCC voted along party lines to end net neutrality last December, arguing that the repeal would stoke competition among internet service providers and benefit consumers. The internet has always been and should always be free and open. Voting for this resolution is a vote for a truly free internet. "We should not resurrect rules that should not have been done by the regulatory process in the first place".

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