Electronics

Senate passes measure to repeal changes to net neutrality rules

Senate passes measure to repeal changes to net neutrality rules

The repeal goes into effect on June 11. The Senate measure needs to win a vote in the House where Republicans have a larger majority, and to get a signature from President Donald Trump, who supports the FCC's action. The measure now goes to the House, where it's not certain GOP leaders will be willing to take it up. She says small dairy farmers her company works with rely on affordable Internet service to manage records and access markets.

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

As lawmakers prepare to vote on the CRA, internet activists have tried to push them into supporting it. The FCC said in repealing it last December that it was simply restoring the "light-touch framework" that has governed the internet for most of its existence.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the solution was for lawmakers to draft net neutrality legislation "that would safeguard consumers but still prevent regulators from stifling innovation". Stonyfield has been outspoken about the negative impact that repealing net neutrality protections would have on rural businesses, including the farms and cooperatives that supply products to Stonyfield.

Neither tipped a hand until they voted a few hours earlier Wednesday to move the measure past a procedural hurdle. Edward Markey, D-Mass., during debate over the resolution. But two other Republicans - Sen.

This issue doesn't cut along clean party lines, said Steven Kull, who runs the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland and has studied public attitudes on net neutrality.

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However, the vote may not be an even split. Sens. LISA MURKOWSKY (R-AK), JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), and SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME) joined the Democrats in using the Senate's power under the Congressional Review Act to vote with a simple majority to override the Commission's decision to gut net neutrality. Edward Markey of MA, sought to stop the FCC's repeal of the Obama-era rules by using their authority under the Congressional Review Act to nullify the commission's vote last December. We won't know until the vote later today, but signs are looking up for Obama's liberating online effort.

The FCC's effort to halt net neutrality also is facing a legal challenge in some states. Twenty-three attorney's general have filed a lawsuit to stop the repeal of the rules. Shortly after the FCC's vote last December, GLAAD released a statement saying, in part, "The repeal of net neutrality is an attack on the LGBTQ community" and Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO, called the repeal "a direct and unconscionable attack on freedom of expression".

The FCC did not roll back rules that require internet providers to disclose their traffic management practices, with complaints largely handled through the Federal Trade Commission.

Kull is more skeptical that net neutrality will be a potent voter motivator this year unless people start to see changes to their Internet costs, speed or access.

Net neutrality supporters note that 15 Republicans crossed the aisle in March 2017 on another internet issue.


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