The US Senate voted 52-47 on Wednesday in favour of putting the Federal Communications Commission's net-neutrality rules back in place. Or will they stick to the party and leave it to be decided by a tie-breaker vote nearly certain to go in their favor?
"At Stonyfield, and at businesses across New Hampshire, we rely on an internet that provides equal access and helps us reach our customers and the farms we source from", said Britt Lundgren, Stonyfield Director of Organic and Sustainable Agriculture.
The Senate resolution would overturn a vote by the agency in December to scuttle its open-internet regulations. In December 2017, the FCC voted 3-2 to repeal net-neutrality rules put in place during the Obama administration to protect users' equal access to the information on the Internet. Edward Markey, D-Mass., during debate over the resolution. The program's research has found that majorities of Americans support government-mandated net neutrality protections. We won't know until the vote later today, but signs are looking up for Obama's liberating online effort.
Currently, the effort to retain Net Neutrality has the backing of 50 United States senators, including that of Republican Susan Collins.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says all 49 Democratic caucus members will vote for the measure, along with Sen.
Net neutrality is an issue that resonates among certain Democratic voters, particularly millennials who might be persuaded to turn out in greater numbers in November's midterm elections that may determine which party controls the House and Senate, where Republicans hold a 51-49 margin. In their place are requirements that companies disclose how they handle data flows. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the only Republican who has pledged to support net neutrality.
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"Such an approach would curb the necessary investment and infrastructure improvements that are critical for connecting more Americans to high-speed broadband and enabling wider internet access, especially in poor and rural areas", the leaders of three leading internet service provider trade groups - the NCTA, CTIA and USTelecom - wrote to Senate leaders on Tuesday. The FCC also repealed the regulatory underpinning for the rules, in which internet service was classified as a common carrier. 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".
Don't expect the House to go along with the Senate on this.
Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated the same.
According to the Associated Press, Senate Democrats filed a discharge petition last week, which triggered Wednesday's vote under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). But net neutrality regulations are much more widely opposed by Republicans.
One of the reasons why the FCC chose to end its net neutrality protection is because the agency believes that its authority extends only in the regulation of broadband networks, whereas websites and services are under the domain of the Federal Trade Commission.