Senate passes measure to repealing changes to net neutrality rules

US Senate Votes Wednesday on Effort to Reinstate 'Net Neutrality' Rules

US Senate Votes Wednesday on Effort to Reinstate 'Net Neutrality' Rules

The Senate passed a measure today repealing changes to net neutrality rules that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission a year ago.

One other thing the vote will achieve, whether or not the net neutrality repeal will be undone, is to have every Senator's vote on this issue on record, ahead of the midterm primaries and general elections, which may sway some Senators' votes. The Internet was free and open before 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure from the WHITE HOUSE and imposed utility-style regulation on the Internet. "It's time for the House to act". A group of 22 states have sued the FCC over the repeal.

The congressional effort comes less than a month before the rules are officially expected to expire, on June 11.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the solution was for lawmakers to draft net neutrality legislation "that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation".

Democrats were undeterred. They see their effort as something that will energize young voters who value unfettered access to the internet.

The FCC decided in 2015 to reclassify internet service providers as common carriers under a 1996 law.

The FCC in December repealed rules set under Democratic President Barack Obama that barred internet service providers from blocking or slowing access to content or charging consumers more for certain content.

AT&T said Wednesday it backs an open internet and "actual bipartisan legislation that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protections for all internet users". There's no word on when the House Democrats might start collecting signatures to force a vote, but it's never too early to start telling your representative what you expect of them should the resolution make it to the floor.

A House companion to the Senate measure, by Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., has 161 co-sponsors, all Democrats.

Net neutrality supporters note that 15 Republicans crossed the aisle in March 2017 on another internet issue. "That's why I strongly opposed the FCC's decision to repeal basic net neutrality protections, and today I voted to protect net neutrality rules".

"It's important Republicans have a clear and concise message to tell them why net neutrality, while it sounds good, and maybe it's even well intended, is not the right answer for them", Taylor said. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who runs the Senate GOP's 2018 campaign operation and voted against the resolution. "If Congress wants to weigh in on net neutrality, it should not act inaptly, but rather affirmatively to adopt a law clearly embodying the policies and practices it deems appropriate".

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