Thursday, May 17, 2018
Senate OKs Bill To Retain Net Neutrality
According to Reuters, the 52 to 47 vote margin in the Senate was larger than expected with three Republicans — John Kennedy, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins — voting with 47 Democrats and two independents to reverse the Trump administration’s action.
Democrats used a law that allows Congress to reverse regulatory actions by a simple majority vote but it is not clear if the U.S. House of Representatives will vote at all on the measure, while the White House has said it opposed repealing the December FCC order.
The FCC in December repealed rules set under Democratic President Barack Obama that barred internet service providers from blocking or slowing access to content or charging consumers more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.
Representative Mike Doyle, a Democrat, said he would launch an effort on Thursday to try to force a House vote and needs the backing of at least two dozen Republicans. He said Democrats would try to make it a campaign issue if Republicans will not allow a vote.
The 2015 rules were intended 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’. The new December 2017 rules require internet providers to tell consumers whether they will block or slow content or offer paid “fast lanes.”
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.” Pai said the his approach “will deliver better, faster, and cheaper Internet access and more broadband competition to the American people.”
Last week, the FCC said the net neutrality rules would expire on June 11 and that the new regulations approved in December, handing providers broad new power over how consumers can access the internet, would take effect.
Posted 4:19:00 AM