News Worms
News Worms

Net Neutrality to Get US Senate Vote as Democrats Force Issue

Elizabeth Warren, fellow Democratic members of Massachusetts' congressional delegation.

Senate Democrats who are trying to force a vote on reinstating net neutrality rules have hit a key milestone.

That number is important, because 30 senators are needed to force a floor vote on the resolution. If passed, it would block the commission's new rules.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was the latest senator to express support for the bill, which put the number of supporters above the procedural requirement to bypass committee approval.

Thirty senators have now signed on to cosponsor a resolution that would nullify the repeal, MA senator Ed Markey announced Monday on Twitter.

Yesterday, the FCC published the order it voted on in December that rolls back the protections that help keep the Internet open and free.

In a statement released on Friday, Internet Association's President & CEO Michael Beckerman announced that it will "act as an intervenor" regarding the FCC's net neutrality repeal. Those rules, adopted in 2015 to cap a decade of the agency's efforts, barred broadband service providers from blocking, slowing, or providing preferred access to particular websites or services.

In California, a bill was introduced earlier this week to regulate internet service providers as public utilities and to block them from using utility poles unless they agreed to comply with the net neutrality rules. The vast majority of Americans support net neutrality as its death only benefits companies like Comcast and AT&T. The sponsors of the resolution include 29 Democrats and Sen.

Over in Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders hasn't made any official moves just yet, but like Senator Bennet, his position is clear. Previously a seldom-used, obscure law, the CRA was used multiple times a year ago to overturn regulations issued in the waning days of the Obama administration.

The fact that no Republicans have signed onto the resolution means it's likely to be defeated in a floor vote.

If net neutrality protections pass in California, we'll be a model for other states, and make it harder for Comcast, Verizon, and other big telecom companies to justify anti-consumer schemes that violate net neutrality elsewhere in the country. None of them are Republicans.

Passage of a CRA would "repeal Pai's repeal", explains Dana Floberg of Free Press, which would leave the web "right back where [it] started-with strong net neutrality rules".

Meanwhile, a separate effort to overturn the FCC's net-neutrality repeal has been gaining momentum.

The group, known as the Internet Association, clearly stated for the first time that these large tech companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are not only against the repeal, but they will stake their well-being on overturning it.


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