Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

US Senate votes to reinstate 'net neutrality'

US Senate votes to reinstate 'net neutrality'

North Dakota's USA senators split on a vote to reverse the repeal of net neutrality rules Wednesday as a few Republicans joined the chamber's Democrats to pass the resolution.

Or so the Net neutrality advocates insist.

"This is a historic victory for the free and open Internet, and a major step forward for the future of free expression and democracy".

"What the Senate said is we will not accept a two-tier system in which one lane goes to the wealthy and powerful on the Internet, and the other lane goes to everybody else", he said.

The Senate resolution faces a hurdle in the GOP-controlled House.

Sen. Thune maintains that, under Obama Administration rules, internet service providers were spending less money on innovation and more money on lawyers and politics. The prior Administration's regulatory overreach took us in the opposite direction, reducing investment in broadband networks and particularly harming small Internet service providers in rural and lower-income areas.

In fact, Small Business Majority's scientific opinion polling found 56 percent of small business owners oppose the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, with almost 4 in 10 strongly opposing the repeal.

The Texas senator, who is gearing up to take on Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) in an already contentious midterm election, argued that there has been no harm done since the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) revoked the Obama-era rules back in December 2017. The FCC's net neutrality repeal gave broadband providers extraordinary new powers to block websites, throttle services and play favorites when it comes to online content.

According to The New York Times, the House is unlikely to join the Senate in defending net neutrality.

Earlier this year, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into the FCC's public comment page on net neutrality being stacked with pro-repeal comments made under stolen identities, some from people who were deceased. "But we're just getting started". The FCC's decision is set to take effect on June 11, but on Wednesday, Senate Democrats will force a long shot vote to save net neutrality.

The effort, which has built momentum in recent weeks, also is meant to elevate net neutrality as a political issue in the fall elections.

In its annual report filed in January, Netflix said the repeal of net neutrality, and the possibility that other "favorable laws" may change, could result in "discriminatory or anti-competitive practices that could impede our growth, cause us to incur additional expense or otherwise negatively affect our business".

Collins announced her support in January, but Kennedy and Murkowski had been undecided.

"This is our chance, our best chance to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable to all Americans", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. It applies only to the telecom carriers that provide our Internet connections, not to the companies like Facebook that provide services over that connection.

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