Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Senate Will Vote to Reinstate Net Neutrality Protections

Senate Will Vote to Reinstate Net Neutrality Protections

I support net neutrality.

Opponents of the new net neutrality rules in the US have succeeded in calling a vote in the US Senate to overturn the FCC's plans. @SenateDems are officially filing the petition that allows us to force a vote on the Senate floor to save #NetNeutrality. "In the 21st century, the internet is every bit as important to average folks as highways and utilities have been through the 20th century, and we've learned through the years that average folks need some protection from the big boys".

The misguided decision to apply regulations created in 1934 for voice telephone services to the internet-adopted on a party-line vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015-has, according to the FCC, slowed investment, preventing the improvement and expansion of services to the 39 million Americans living in rural parts of the country. Alas, that isn't true-because 43 percent of American households have just one option for broadband internet service in their area, or none at all; an additional 30 percent have only two.

Up until the CRA vote, net neutrality supporters are launching a public campaign to bring attention to the issue. Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins also backs the measure.

Senate Democrats are making a final push to gather support needed for U.S. Sen. To obtain a majority, net neutrality's senate proponents must obtain one more vote. With the prolonged absence of Senator John McCain due to illness, proponents believe they will win on a 50-49 vote.

The Democratic senators are getting some help, though, with popular websites like Etsy and OKCupid issuing red alerts on Wednesday, encouraging visitors to contact members of Congress to help save net neutrality. The repeal effort was led by Ajit Pai, who President Donald Trump appointed to chair the FCC.

The CRA, which Republicans used to revoke more than a dozen Obama-era rules, sets up a speedy timeline for action in Congress and only requires a majority vote in the Senate.

The controversy surrounding the FCC's December 14 vote to end net neutrality may have dwindled over time, but the vote's detractors haven't given up their fight to restore the regulations.

"Net Neutrality is overwhelmingly supported by people across the political spectrum: Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike", Craig Aaron, head of the pro net-neutrality advocacy group Free Press Action Fund, said in an emailed statement.

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