US Senate overturns Restoring Internet Freedom Order

Net Neutrality changes

Pai is seen here speaking to the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year.

It has been just over five months since the FCC in the USA voted to dismantle Obama-era net neutrality rules, with three out of five commissioners involved choosing to end the regulation.

Though the Senate vote to repeal will most likely be made moot by the house the Coalition of Internet Voters made a strong show of support as Sen. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said, "This is our chance - our best chance - to make sure the internet stays accessible and affordable for all Americans". A group of 22 states has sued the FCC over the repeal.

Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led the vote to dismantle net neutrality rules. Once there, the caucus would need a simple majority to adopt the resolution - and with Collins, it has 50 votes. They were joined by the two independents who usually vote with them, Sens. Republican Senator John McCain was absent because of illness.

But the effort faces an uphill battle in the House, where Republicans have a larger majority, and at the White House, where President Donald Trump would be expected to veto the measure. The president has already signed more than a dozen CRAs, but those were aimed at doing their more common work, of reversing the work of a previous administration.

There is not much hope that the resolution will pass the House of Representatives, as Republicans there outnumber Democrates considerably.

It has been a insane year for Net Neutrality. 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.

The FCC's move has also sparked legal challenges.

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". A consortium of tech companies from Etsy to IAC, which operates Tinder and OKCupid, have banded together to create a campaign called "Red Alert", which supports the congressional vote and other efforts to preserve net neutrality.

"We will take a stand to protect our online economy or say goodbye to internet as we know it", said Senator Ed Markey. Under the guise of limiting federal government control in the working man's life, the FCC repealed the act in December touting the move as a return to "a free internet". 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.

"This is shameful", Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who's in the Democratic minority, said on Twitter. "Let's treat the internet like the public good that it is".

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