Senate Passes Measure Repealing Changes to Net Neutrality Rules
- Author: Darren Santiago May 18, 2018,
May 18, 2018, 9:36
Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy voted with all other Senate Democrats and three Republicans to overturn the Federal Communication Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which took net neutrality rules off the books.
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should provide equal access to all applications, content, platforms, and websites, and can not discriminate against content or content providers by making certain web page, applications, or videos load faster or slower than others.
The Senate decision, however, is just the first step in the effort to maintain net neutrality.
Schumer said in an earlier statement, "The repeal of net neutrality is not only a blow to the average consumer, but it is a blow to public schools, rural Americans, communities of color and small businesses". The measure needs to win a vote in the House where Republicans have a larger majority, and to get a signature from President Donald Trump, who supports the FCC's action.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) supported the FCC's net neutrality repeal and could try to prevent the Democrats' resolution from coming to a vote.
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It has been a insane year for Net Neutrality. Net neutrality is a ideal opportunity for Republicans to show that they're willing to break from the party line.
This is probably a tactical error for Trump; net-neutrality is one of those issues that Republicans have shied away from, because they recognize that although it's probably popular with most of their base voters (who wants to pay more for worse internet?) it's not popular with most of their donors.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency may be decentralized but people buy and sell them on exchanges hosted by internet service providers.
After the FCC's decision, big tech companies like Foursquare, Etsy, Expa, Shutterstock, Kickstarter, and Automattic have said they would challenge the FCC's ruling in court. Democrats will need at least 25 Republicans to join them in the House.
Sen. Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who introduced Wednesday's resolution, said during debate on the Senate floor that the measure would guarantee "no slowing down certain websites, no blocking websites, and no charging you more to exercise your 21st century right to access the Internet".
Outside of Washington, DC, net neutrality is not a partisan issue. "Net neutrality is what allows the internet to be a tool for free speech, permissionless innovation, and diverse voices on an infinite number of websites". But the details very much matter and what is now being offered is net neutrality "lite". He runs the Democrats' 2018 campaign operation and says Republicans are miscalculating how much voters care about this issue.