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US Senate Votes To Halt FCC's Net Neutrality Decision

17 May 2018

The Net neutrality rules prohibit Internet service providers from selling faster delivery of certain data, slowing speeds for specific content and blocking or otherwise discriminating against any legal material.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he was disappointed by the Senate vote.

But many politicians are convinced the issue will help motivate younger people to vote in the 2018 congressional elections and numerous polls show overwhelming public support for retaining the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

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.

Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, said the internet thrived long before the Obama administration stepped in with rules in 2015, and he predicted that when the FCC repeal is in place, consumers won't notice a change in their service.

KitGuru Says: There is still work left to be done, but hopefully in the end, we'll see Obama's 2015 Open Internet Act held up.

Joining all Democratic senators in voting to reverse the FCC's action were GOP Senators Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

The FCC's existing net neutrality rules are set to end June 11 after the commission voted to gut the rules past year.

"Make no mistake - the abolition of net neutrality will erode the democratic fabric that binds the Internet together", said McGrath.

Republicans said the regulations threaten heavy-handed government intrusion that would stifle innovation on the Internet.

"I think that this is the most exciting day of this year for us", she said smiling at the press conference.

Before the vote, Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, urged fellow senators to disregard the "armies of lobbyists marching the halls of Congress on behalf of big internet service providers".

"If proponents of net neutrality manage to secure a majority vote in the Senate, the chances of the resolution passing the Republican-controlled House are slim", said Sean McGrath, online privacy expert at BestVPN. Democrats think the fight to restore the rules could be a political victor during November's congressional midterm elections even if the effort is unsuccessful, as it will force Republicans to record a vote against reinstating the rules.

Net neutrality prevented providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps.

The US Senate approved a resolution that aims to undo the FCC's deregulation of internet services, the Washington Post reports.

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 resolution was not supported by major telecom industry groups, as they do not appreciate the FCC's attempt to extend its regulatory powers to the broadband market.

Information for this article was contributed by Frank E. Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

US Senate Votes To Halt FCC's Net Neutrality Decision