US Senate votes to save net neutrality

US Senate overturns Pai's FCC net neutrality weed-whacker

Pie in the face for Pai

"This is our chance, our best chance, to make sure the Internet stays accessible and affordable for all Americans", he said as the debate began. Democrats now need at least 25 Republicans to join them in the House, an uphill battle to say the least.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., called it a "highly politicized campaign" that was filled with "fear-mongering hypotheticals, misdirection and outright false claims". "We shouldn't do that with the internet either". John Boozman, R-Ark., said in a written statement.

It has been a insane year for Net Neutrality. "Net neutrality is what allows the internet to be a tool for free speech, permissionless innovation and diverse voices on an infinite number of websites", said Chris Lewis, vice president at the advocacy group Public Knowledge.

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Senators voted 52-47 to overturn the Restoring Internet Freedom Order issued by the FCC a year ago. "And it will continue to be free and open once the Restoring Internet Freedom Order takes effect on June 11". The final vote was 52-47.

While Collins' support had been public leading up to the vote, Murkowski's and Kennedy's "yes" votes came as a surprise to some. The CTIA, USTelecom and the NCTA earlier sent a joint letter to senators asking them to vote against the measure. The Senate voted Wednesday to establish net neutrality as law but President Trump opposes it and its prospects are poor in the House. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate. Today, Chairman Ajit Pai, part of the Republican majority, said the new policy would end "the heavy-handed, utility-style regulation from 1934 of broadband Internet access service".

Telecoms lawyer at Perkins Coie in Washington told The Washington Post that the vote could have "significant political effects", but warned that it is still not clear how many voters will be motivated enough by net neutrality to show up at the polls. It requires 218 votes to force a vote there, and only 160 House Democrats back the measure for now. Republicans said they were willing to work with Democrats on enshrining the principle of net neutrality in legislation.

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"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, a Democrat from NY. If an internet service provider which is owned by a conglomerate decides to absorb an exchange then without net neutrality they can charge users extra and or toggle down speeds to access exchanges in competition with their own.

Meanwhile, Jessica Rosenworcel, an FCC comissioner who fought the repeal, said: "Today the United States Senate took a big step to fix the serious mess the FCC made when it rolled back net neutrality late last year.I'll keep raising a ruckus to support net neutrality and I hope others will".

Although the FCC exempted Internet service providers from many aspects of that tougher oversight, such as rate regulation, opponents of the rules said the decision opened the door to onerous federal regulation.

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