U.S. Senate Votes to Restore Net Neutrality, Now Expected to Face Major Hurdle in House

The United States Senate today voted to repeal the Federal Communication Commission's "Restoring Internet Freedom" order, which was enacted last December and reverses Obama-era Net Neutrality rules. Today's decision ended with a vote of 52-47 in favor of restoring Net Neutrality protections, with supporters totaling all 47 Democratic Senators, two independents, and three Republican Senators.

The Senate Democrats used the Congressional Review Act to call for the vote to halt Net Neutrality's repeal. The law gives Congress 60 days to review and potentially reverse regulations passed by a federal agency, in this case the FCC.

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Under the act, the decision will now move onto the House of Representatives, where it's expected to not make it past the Republican-majority House. If the measure ultimately makes it to President Trump's desk, it's likewise believed that he wouldn't back the decision to go against a regulation created by his own FCC chairman Ajit Pai.

Net Neutrality has been an increasingly heated debate since momentum gathered in the Republican-controlled FCC last fall, predicting the repeal of the rules that eventually came in December. If the new efforts fail, Net Neutrality rules will officially end in the U.S. in less than a month, on June 11, 2018.

The reversal of Net Neutrality protections classifies internet service providers as "information service" providers, as they were prior to the advent of Net Neutrality in 2015. While supporters of the rollback describe the move as a return to a less-regulated internet, opponents fear that ISPs will be able to slow down internet speeds -- or block access completely -- to any website they see as a competitor.

Some ISPs have come out stating they would not slow down a user's internet in any way, including AT&T. In January, the carrier pledged a commitment "to an open internet" in an open letter written by CEO Randall Stephenson. The letter explained that AT&T has not and does not plan to block websites, censor online content, or throttle, discriminate, and degrade network performance based on a website's contents, although Stephenson didn't mention some topics of concern for Net Neutrality supporters like online fast lanes and "paid prioritization."

Apple's comment on the topic last year stated that the Net Neutrality repeal could "fundamentally alter the internet as we know it," and if it passed it would be put in place to the detriment of consumers, competition, and innovation. Around the same time last August, the FCC received a record-breaking 22 million comments from the public who voiced their opinions on the controversial issue in the months leading up to the December vote.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Top Rated Comments

WarHeadz Avatar
81 months ago
Man, once we flush this filthy administration out of our government we’re going to have sooooo much work to do to reverse all their damage and restore order. Get out and vote blue this November folks!
Score: 83 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justiny Avatar
81 months ago
I still do not understand how a political issue which 90% of Americans do not agree with gets forced upon us.

Once again, the big corporations continue to have their way. Keep filling up that swamp.
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IWantItThatWay Avatar
81 months ago
Good.

Hopefully the Trump Admin. faces a massive defeat here.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeneralChang Avatar
81 months ago
Good on those three Republicans for representing their constituents instead of their party.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stella Avatar
81 months ago
People would be up in arms if utility companies started adding on extra charges depending on what you use the resource for. Extra $5 for using dish washer, 4k TV for example.

Strangely, some people are quite happy in letting ISPs do just this for data usage. Odd.

Each bit of data should be equal, not matter what it is used for.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
81 months ago
There's still hope!
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)