Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

US Senate votes to restore and save Net Neutrality

US Senate votes to restore and save Net Neutrality

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

However, the endeavor to cease abrogation of net neutrality rules as a segment of an expansive political strategy by Democrats to marshal young voters in the November elections.

The vote was 52 to 47 and included three Republicans along with all 49 Democrats on the side of reversing the FCC decision.

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A vote summary can be viewed here.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal speaks during a news conference on a petition to force a vote on net neutrality on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Also pictured are Sen.

Nevertheless, net neutrality proponents are satisfied with the current victory, noting that the American public finally knows the official position of all Senators on the matter. Congressman Mike Doyle said he would start a discharge petition, a measure that if signed by the majority of House members, requires a piece of legislation to be put to a vote. "Our approach will help promote digital opportunity-that is, making high-speed Internet access available to every single American so that they can be participants in, rather than spectators of, our digital economy", he concluded.

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Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer spoke after the vote began Wednesday, arguing that "future of the internet" is at stake. The net neutrality rules, approved by the same organization two years earlier, prohibited internet service providers - such as Comcast and Verizon - from speeding up or slowing down traffic from specific websites and apps. Under the guise of limiting federal government control in the working man's life, the FCC repealed the act in December touting the move as a return to "a free internet". "We show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under this administration". The commissions abrogate of net neutrality is scheduled to come into effect in a few weeks. Net neutrality still faces a long, uphill battle toward restoration.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said he was disappointed by the Senate vote.

Prior to the vote Senator Hassan spoke on the floor of the Senate, reinforcing the importance of protecting a free and open internet so that all hard-working Granite Staters and businesses across the country can thrive.

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AT&T said Wednesday it backs an open internet and "actual bipartisan legislation that applies to all internet companies and guarantees neutrality, transparency, openness, non-discrimination and privacy protections for all internet users".

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