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Senate votes to protect net neutrality

17 May 2018

"It's typical of how Republicans have used their total control of Washington: Increase costs on Americans who actually work for a living while giving more breaks to the rich, well-connected special interests they care about".

"This issue presents a stark contrast: Are you on the side of the large Internet and cable companies, or are you on the side of the average American family?" said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

"That fundamental equality of access is what has made the internet so dynamic", he said on the Senate floor.

But most Republicans opposed the effort, saying the regulations were potentially too onerous and that Democrats were trying to use the issue for partisan gains in November. John Kennedy (R-La.), and Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said in a written statement.

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The bipartisan resolution, which Senator Hassan helped introduce, overturns the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) partisan decision to repeal net neutrality protections.

Today's vote implications are significant-net neutrality is critical for our nation's progress and for the creation of good jobs in the future.

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.

The Democratic senators were only able to secure enough votes thanks to three Republican senators who were ultimately persuaded to vote in favour of the proposal. And express your feelings to them about your voting. Yesterday's vote included three Republicans, including Susan Collins of Maine. It will then need the support of every Democrat and 22 Republicans.

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Neither tipped a hand until they voted a few hours earlier Wednesday to move the measure past a procedural hurdle. Such bills allow Congress, with a majority vote in each chamber and the president's signature, to overturn recent agency moves. The measure can not be filibustered in the Senate.

Net neutrality rules, enacted under fomer President Barack Obama, prevented internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from forcing customers to pay extra to access certain websites, or slowing down traffic speeds to certain websites. Tech giants such as Google and Facebook have been vocal in their support for the retention of the rules. Rosenworcel said: "Today's vote is a sign that the fight for internet freedom is far from over".

Polls have shown strong public backing for Net neutrality.

"We will take a stand to protect our online economy, or we will say goodbye to the Internet as we know it", said Sen.

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If the bill doesn't pass, the new FCC rules repealing net neutrality will go into effect on June 11, but expect to see more challenges in court. The Internet was free and open before 2015, when the prior FCC buckled to political pressure from the White House and imposed utility-style regulation on the Internet.

Senate votes to protect net neutrality