Sci-tech

National net neutrality fight is not over

National net neutrality fight is not over

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced Thursday that internet regulations known as "net neutrality" rules will come to an end June 10.

All 49 Democrats in the chamber have thrown their support behind a measure that would force a vote on something known as a Congressional Review Act resolution.

Proponents now have the backing of 47 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats as well as Republican Senator Susan Collins. If Congress can pass a joint resolution on net neutrality with a simple majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the measure would then get passed to US President Donald Trump for him to sign or veto. Now that effort faces a critical test, as the expected legislation is aimed at restoring the net neutrality rules. Under the Congressional Review Act, they're hoping to roll back the regulations before they are introduced.

Democrats are expecting a vote next week, but the deadline for a vote is June 12.

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While the resolution has a good chance to pass the Senate, it will have a more hard time passing through the House.

Net neutrality was voted out by the FCC in December past year in a 3-2 split. The Senate has fast-tracked a resolution to overturn the falsely named "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" that will be voted on next week.

Even if the vote succeeds in the Senate, gaining the necessary votes or even floor time in the more ISP-cash compromised House could prove problematic.

Harold Feld, senior vice president with the Washington, D.C. -based nonprofit Public Knowledge, compared net neutrality to "an on-ramp to the internet", meaning ISPs are "not allowed to interfere with what the subscriber wants to do or where the subscriber wants to go".

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Internet activists and tech companies are holding a day of protest Wednesday to draw attention to net neutrality once again.

If Sen. John McCain, a Republican who is now home in Arizona battling brain cancer, is not present for the vote, a 50-49 decision would send the vote to the House. "The FCC's repeal of Net Neutrality threatens to take that away".

In a post on Twitter, the UK's Tim Berners-Lee made an impassioned plea for net neutrality, highlighting an upcoming vote in Congress that could decide the future of the Internet in the US. But last Friday, Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman cast a tie-breaking vote in an evenly-divided Senate.

"It has created a sense of urgency to what we are working on", Karr said of the FCC announcement. I support rules that prevent blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization of internet traffic. Susan Collins, the independent-minded Republican from Maine.

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The new leadership of the FCC has given us an opportunity to do just that, by freeing the internet from outdated, monopoly-era regulations.