Senate Vote May Be Coming on FCC Net Neutrality Rules

Posted January 09, 2018

Still, the CRA resolution is a symbolic move, and it'll keep the battle for net neutrality in the spotlight. So far Washington state attorney general Bob Ferguson, Oregon state attorney general Ellen Rosenblum, Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan, Iowa attorney general Tom Miller, Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey and Scott Wiener, a California state senator are all said to be following suit. "Every member of the U.S. Senate will have to go on the record". Washington kicked off its own process back in December, immediately after the initial vote at the FCC.

Polls have shown broad consumer support for open Internet principles.

Last month, the FCC voted along party lines to eliminate its 2015 net neutrality rules. The resolution needs all Democratic senators, and two Republicans, to vote in favor of it to pass. "As a regulatory body, the FCC has a responsibility to protect the standards that make it possible for our communities to thrive in the 21st Century". The sponsors for the resolution include 29 Democrats and Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with the Democrats.

Now the bill in the US Senate will get a vote to restore a Net Neutrality after 30 US Senators cosponsor a bill.

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The state-by-state legislation being introduced could become the subject of a second net neutrality-related lawsuit. Their announcement came on January 5, the day after the FCC introduced the final rules that will govern the internet under this repeal. Efforts by the aforementioned states to preserve net neutrality rules do exactly this. Previously a seldom used, obscure law, the CRA was used multiple times by Congress past year to overturn regulations issued in the waning days of the Obama administration.

Other states are also considering legislation to re-enact net neutrality rules on a local basis while activists groups and several state attorneys general have sued the FCC to stop the repeal of the rule. As with other aspects of the digital economy, we are exploring unknown territory.

If you care about a free internet, now is the time to act. Opposition has lost a battle, which turned bitter and quite personal quickly, and has moved onto the being hard stage. But in this case having a vote is the entire point. These are organizations which could cause some serious headaches considering many of them have the backing of the world's largest technology companies. With the FCC's just-published order, net neutrality is no longer the law.

Markey said during a press conference call last month that "those who don't support a free and open internet will feel the power of the consumer".

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of many organizations that are pushing back against Donald Trump's FCC. Given that Republicans have nearly unanimously supported the FCC's new rules, the prospects for the CRA are dim.

There are few people who will occupy the middle ground here, partly due to the emotional euphoria which has been whipped up into a frenzy by both sides.

"We need common rules of the road that apply evenly to all players in the internet ecosystem", the paper states, adding that the net neutrality rules only applied to retail broadband providers and not major companies like Google, Amazon or Facebook.

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