Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

US Senate Votes to Keep Net Neutrality, but an Uphill Battle Remains

US Senate Votes to Keep Net Neutrality, but an Uphill Battle Remains

Three Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues to pass a measure that would preserve Net Neutrality in the United Sates.

The US Senate voted in favour of keeping open-internet rules in a bid to overturn the Federal Communications Commission decision to repeal net neutrality rules, but the measure is unlikely to be approved by the House of Representatives or the White House.

"This is a historic victory for the free and open Internet, and a major step forward for the future of free expression and democracy". "It is unclear, as a matter of law, whether the CRA can repeal an "order" as opposed to a "rule'", he said in a statement".

In the House of Representatives, the bill faces a tougher uphill battle. If by some miracle they succeed, the Obama Internet rules get locked in, and the FCC can never change them.

"Make no mistake this is pretty massive, think about how many times the Senate has voted along party lines", says Ernesto Falcon, chief legislative counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to "defending civil liberties in the digital world".

For almost all of the past 10 years, the FCC has had in place rules that sought to guarantee net-neutrality protections.

Equally as predictably, Commissioner JESSICA ROSENWORCEL took the opposite position from PAI, with a statement reading "Today the UNITED STATES Senate took a big step to fix the serious mess the FCC made when it rolled back net neutrality late a year ago".

Murkowski said she wants to see legislation to prevent internet service providers from blocking certain sites or throttling down speeds.

Supporters of net neutrality have pointed out, however, that without the Obama administration rules, internet providers could easily create online "fast lanes" that privileged whatever content the company prefers and "slow lanes" for everything else. Republicans used this talking point to argue that ISPs shouldn't be forced to operate under different rules than websites in their support for ending net neutrality protections.

Sen. Mitch McConnell says a Democratic-led attempt to reinstate Obama-era net neutrality rules would "overregulate" the internet.

"We're just going to keep operating as we have been", Nishi said.

So what's really driving the Net neutrality push?

Alaska's other senator, Dan Sullivan, said he agrees with that.

"Today, we show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under this administration", Markey said to the Senate. Over the last 14 days, "Net Neutrality + Senate" has a 67 percent positive score on Social.

But Kennedy noted that 22 percent of Louisianans - and 19 percent of Americans overall - have only one choice for broadband internet service.

The bill uses Congress's powers under the Congressional Review Act, a little-known piece of legislation that up to now, had nearly exclusively been used by Republicans to overturn federal rules put in place by the Obama administration.

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