GOP Senator Cites Rural Need on Rank-Breaking Net Neutrality Vote

US Senate net neutrality

In an action arguably more emblematic than impactful, the Senate voted on Wednesday to overturn the repeal of net neutrality, with the goal of reinstating rules that ban internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or slowing traffic on the web.

This effort to conflate net neutrality with privacy fell flat in the Senate - as well it should have: There's no reason why lawmakers can't deal separately with questions about net neutrality and privacy.

"I am pleased that today the United States Senate voted in support of the entrepreneurs, small businesses, and consumers in New Hampshire and across the country who rely on a free and open internet to help them succeed", Senator Hassan said.

Despite the Senate's vote, the resolution faces a dubious future, because it still needs to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump. Earlier this year, a coalition of 23 attorneys general, including Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen sued to stop the rollback of net neutrality.

The Senate has voted to pass a measure to keep net neutrality rules the same. Net neutrality is a flawless opportunity for Republicans to show that they're willing to break from the party line.

Even if the resolution fails, many states, including California and NY, are doing all they can to fight back against the FCC's decision with their own net neutrality proposals. Some of those internet service providers, including Comcast, Time-Warner and Verizon, are among the largest and wealthiest companies in America. If they follow through, the potential for drawing a new generation of tech-savvy voters to the polls will increase. But if Democrats take the House this fall, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she is prepared to put net neutrality on the agenda.




"The internet should be kept free and open like our highways, accessible and affordable to every American, regardless of ability to pay", Schumer said.

"Restoring the FCC's net neutrality rules will ensure that the internet will remain open and will continue to be a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity", said Sen.

Before the vote, Senator Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, urged fellow senators to disregard the "armies of lobbyists marching the halls of Congress on behalf of big internet service providers". "In other words, protecting net neutrality isn't about saving Netflix but about saving the next Netflix".

The Trump campaign had net neutrality on its platform through the election process and made repealing it one of the only campaign promises they have kept. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, noting the strong support for net neutrality rules from internet users.

"So even should the resolution of disapproval ultimately fail in Congress, there are other measures that we'll be taking to restore our internet rights". He warns there could be consequences if Republicans don't engage more directly with voters on an issue that matters to them.

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