Senate Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Achieves Important Milestone

Sen. Claire McCaskill D-Missouri

This effectively ended what many called Net Neutrality.

According to a new report from Ars Technica, state legislators in California and Nebraska are proposing net neutrality laws to replace the US-wide ones that were repealed by the Federal Communications Commission. Senate Bill 460 would make it illegal for broadband providers to block or limit internet service or interfere with customer access.

Just under a month after the FCC voted to repeal net neutrality, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey announced today that the Senate will vote on a reversal of the decision. Bernie Sanders - who is an independent but caucuses with the Democratic Party.

Though Democrats now have enough support to force the resolution to a vote in the Senate, they have much steeper barriers to getting it adopted. The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overturn recent federal regulations with a simple majority, and Republicans have previously used it to gut Obama-era environmental and consumer privacy protections.

"Your proposal threatens to eliminate the FCC's oversight role that has been in place for decades under both Democratic and Republican presidents", said Senator of Colorado, Michael Bennet.

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Hopefully, the Internet Association and others fighting to restore net neutrality be victorious, or ISPs could soon be deciding which websites you can access. A University of Maryland poll last month found that 83% of Americans and 75% of Republicans said they supported them.

Evan Greer, a campaign director internet advocacy group Fight for the Future, said the CRA vote will force lawmakers to "go on the record" to show their support of net neutrality ahead of the 2018 midterms. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln, would bring net neutrality rules power to the state level.

Amid the harsh criticism of the repeal from consumer groups including Free Press, Pai on Wednesday pulled out of a planned appearance at this week's CES tech industry convention after reportedly receiving death threats. "[FCC Chairman] Ajit Pai has awakened the public, now Net Neutrality is a kitchen-table issue, and the outcry is only going to get louder".

The lobby group for some of the most powerful United States tech firms said it would join the legal challenge to the planned rollback of "net neutrality" rules requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally. The Internet Association - whose member companies include Google, Facebook and Netflix - said last week it is prepared to join a legal battle against repealing the rules, which were approved in 2015.

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