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Democrat Senators: The Fight Isn't Over for Net Neutrality

Last month, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to repeal net neutrality regulations with a 3-2 vote. This saddened a lot of individuals, companies, and organizations who were hoping things would turn out for the best. Because of how the results of the vote turned out to be, Senate Democrats have promised to continue fighting to preserve the net neutrality rules set during Barack Obama's administration.

So what is their latest plan on combating this?

On Tuesday, the Senate Democrats announced that they will be implementing a vote on the reversal of decision of the FCC later this year. The senators also promised they will make this a key issue during the 2018 congressional elections. Considering this is a way of enticing young voters, the senators will do their best to let everyone know where they stand in the issue.

The Democratic Senators are confident in their latest plan, especially since Republican Senator Susan Collins announced that she would be supporting the effort in reversing the recent decision made by the FCC. This came as a surprise to the Democrats, considering the Senator's political affiliation. But then again, a spokeswoman for the Senator said that she "believes that a careful, deliberative process" should be made with experts. At the same time, the consumers should have confidence that their rights will be protected in a free market with consumer choices and continued growth.

When the FCC made its vote last month, a group of state attorneys general quickly made a promise to sue. One such trade group that made this action was one that represented large companies in the tech industry, such as Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Facebook Inc. The group made a promise to support the legal challenges to have the decision reversed.

As for the side that felt victorious with last month's vote, companies like AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and Comcast Corp. celebrated with the results of the ruling. With it, they were able to have control over the content that consumers have access to online. This was also a big win for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has since been trying to undo several telecommunications regulations.

During a Capitol Hills news conference held in Washington on Tuesday, Senate Democrats called this decision "un-American." They also pointed out that this was an "all-out assault on consumers."

But in order to reverse the decision of the FCC, an approval would have to come from the Senate, U.S. House, and President Donald Trump. Considering the FCC action is backed by both the President and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, this would be very hard to do.

And while internet providers now have the ability to block, discriminate, or throttle internet content, the FCC order requires them to publicly disclose these practices. To this, the internet providers have promised not to change how online content is obtained by consumers.

The Democrats believe that net neutrality is important to protect consumers' rights. Republicans, on the other hand, believe that the rules stopped provider investments and these rules were unnecessary.

In order to force a vote, Democratic Senator Ed Markey said he had 39 co-sponsors waiting for this. But right now, it is unclear when the vote will take place since the new rules will not be taking an effect for another three months, at least. With 51 votes out of the 100-member body, the Republicans currently control the Senate. The Democrats need at least one Republican who will help them overturn the decision of the FCC. With Senator Collins stand, will this be enough to support them?

Source: Reuters

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Comment Page :
  1. Christine, I only discovered PPPN a few weeks ago, but I really enjoy your articles. Also REALLY appreciate that you can report on a topic like this without editorializing or politicizing, while presenting both sides of the issue (or as Jack Webb used to say on that old TV show Dragnet, "Just the facts, ma'am"). Thank you for a great read -- looking forward to many more!

    1. Click on “Reuters” source at end of article.

    2. Well written summary of the reuters article.

  2. Not exactly prepaid news but still a good topic to be read widely. A good inclusion.

  3. Sorry, I am against overturning this. I love the Reuters quote "Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, said the issue was resonating with teenagers and college students. “People are mobilizing across the country to save the free and open internet,” he said."

    So returning the internet to government control is going to make it free and open.

    The Democrats are great at picking names that don't do what they say they are going to do.

    1. So much for keeping things apolitical... it was nice while it lasted...

    2. Unknown, I almost never agree with the Dems. But on net neutrality, I agree with them 100%.

      Enforcing NN and preventing ISP's from double charging us and sticking their nose into the legal use of the data WE PAY FOR does indeed "make the Internet more free", and there is no downside to NN.

      There is nothing good that net neutrality prevents, and much bad scammy stuff that it stops. It's obvious: bring it back.

    3. "Enforcing Net Neutrality" has done nothing for individual freedoms on the net BUT HAS given freedom to FaceBook, Google/YouTUBE, Twitter and the like to FREELY censor & cancel accounts for no good reason.
      Repealing NN puts these giants on notice to behave lest their cost of doing business will go up. I don't weep for them.
      They can afford it.

  4. Sorry, Facebook, Google/Youtube, and Twitter aren't ISPs and thus have nothing to do with Net Neutrality.

    Repealing NN has nothing to do with these.

  5. "FaceBook, Google/YouTUBE, Twitter" are all voluntary services that people choose to get involved with, and are optional and have many competitors...

    In contrast, there's really no choice when it comes to broadband ISPs: in the vast majority of situations, they are regional/local monopolies. We need NN to keep Cox/etc from preventing you from using your broadband data in legal ways. Or situations like has happened where Comcast prevented customers from using the data they paid for on Netflix because some people in Comcast had a silly grudge against Netflix.

    Net Neutrality enforces what should be obvious: the legal use of the data we pay these mightly ISP's for is really none of their business.

  6. I am an extremely conservative Tea Party Republican. The GOP is on the wrong side of net neutrality. It will cost them big in 2018 elections. We elect Republicans to protect individual liberty, not encroach upon it.

    1. Tea Party Guy: You are not the only conservative who is pro Net Neutrality.

      There are many on both sides of the issue who un-critically buy into the party line, without actually looking at the issue.

  7. We US taxpayers INVENTED the internet by funding DARPA research (look it up).
    Why should Verizon ATT Comcast Cox Cablevision & other internet service providers now rip us off in providing connections we created???

    1. True, EEE. The Internet was invented prior to the time period (his time in Congress) when Al Gore claimed he invented it instead.


      I have no problem with "Verizon ATT Comcast Cox Cablevision" providing services in a big way, as long as they are registered to prevent them from double or triple charging us or nosing into such private matters as our legal use of the data we pay for.

      There are no problems that Net Neutrality creates or makes worse, and plenty of problems it stops in its tracks and prevents.

  8. 3 months later and the internet is no better or worse.

    Various mobile ISPs are still pulling the same throttling and bucketing crap they pulled while NN was in place, so NN turned out to be smoke and mirrors all along.

    Likewise, network investment isn't any more or less than it otherwise would've been, so it appears both sides of the NN debate were arguing over nothing.

    At least we found out how ineffectual government really is in a corporatocracy.

    That, and now we can all stop blaming government and instead heap all the hate and scorn onto the companies themselves.

    I think we're gonna be alright, famalams.

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